Molecular and functional characterization of mulberry EST encoding remorin (MiREM) involved in abiotic stress
Group1 remorins may help the plants to optimize their growth under adverse conditions by their involvement in mediating osmotic stress responses in plants.
Mulberry (Morus indica), a deciduous woody tree, serves as the cardinal component of the sericulture industry. Genomic endeavors in sequencing of mulberry ESTs provided clues to stress-specific clones, but their functional relevance remains fragmentary. Therefore in this study, we assessed the functional significance of a remorin gene family member that was identified in leaf ESTs. Remorins represent a large, plant-specific multigene family gaining importance in recent times with respect to their role in plant–microbe interactions, although their role in response to environmental stresses remains speculative as in vivo functions of remorin genes are limited. Mulberry remorin (MiREM) localizes to plasma membrane and is ubiquitously present in all plant organs. Expression analysis of MiREM by northern analysis reveals that its transcript increases under different abiotic stress conditions especially during dehydration and salt stress, implicating it in regulation of stress signaling pathways. Concomitantly, transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing heterologous remorin show tolerance to dehydration and salinity at the germination and seedling stages as revealed by percentage germination, root inhibition assays, fresh weight and activity of photosystem II. This study predicts the possible function of group 1 remorin gene in mediating osmotic stress thus bringing novel perspectives in understanding the function of remorins in plant abiotic stress responses.
KeywordsAbiotic stresses Arabidopsis Group1 remorin Mulberry
This work was financially supported by grants received from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, New Delhi. V.G.C. acknowledges University Grants Commission (UGC) for the award of research fellowships.
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