Osmyb4 expression improves adaptive responses to drought and cold stress in transgenic apples
Constitutive expression of the rice cold-inducible Osmyb4 gene in transgenic Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) plants improves adaptive responses to cold and drought stress, most likely due to the constitutive activation of several stress-inducible pathways and to the accumulation of several compatible solutes (e.g., glucose, fructose, sucrose, proline, glycine betaine and some aromatic compounds). Although the Osmyb4 gene seems able to activate stress responsive pathways in different species, we previously reported that its specific effect on stress tolerance depends on the transformed species. In the present work, we report the effects of the Osmyb4 expression for improving the stress response in apple (Malus pumila Mill.) plants. Namely, we found that the ectopic expression of the Myb4 transcription factor improved physiological and biochemical adaptation to cold and drought stress and modified metabolite accumulation. Based on these results it may be of interest to use Osmyb4 as a tool for improving the productivity of woody perennials under environmental stress conditions.
KeywordsApple Cold tolerance Drought tolerance Osmyb4 Transcription factor
We thank Dr. D. J. James for providing the GS92 apple clone. This work was partially supported by the FIRB-strategic project postgenome, Program of the Italian Ministry of University and Scientific Research (code RBNE01LAC).
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