Plant Cell Reports

, Volume 36, Issue 9, pp 1457–1476 | Cite as

GR1-like gene expression in Lycium chinense was regulated by cadmium-induced endogenous jasmonic acids accumulation

  • Zhigang Ma
  • Ting An
  • Xuerui Zhu
  • Jing JiEmail author
  • Gang Wang
  • Chunfeng Guan
  • Chao Jin
  • Lingling Yi
Original Article


Key message

The G1-like gene from the Lycium chinense was cloned and transferred into N. tabacum. Evidence showed that endogenous JA accumulation was crucial to LcGR gene expression in cadmium-stressed L. chinense.


Glutathione reductase (GR) plays a vital role in glutathione–ascorbate metabolism and is a key enzyme in maintaining the redox state in plants. Jasmonic acids (JA) are important hormones regulating protective responses against bacteria and mechanic damage in plants. At present, the relationship between the endogenous JA accumulation, the glutathione (GSH) content and GR gene expression in plants under cadmium (Cd) stress has not been elucidated. This study primarily aims to explore their interconnected relations. First, we isolated the GR1-like gene from Lycium chinense (LcGR). Real-time PCR showed that gene LcGR and allene oxide cyclase (LcAOC) (a JA synthesis gene) expression in L. chinense plants was significantly enhanced by CdCl2 and reduced by CdCl2 cotreatment with 12,13-epoxy-octadecenoic acid (EOA), a JA synthesis inhibitor. Meanwhile, the JA content in plants strongly increased under Cd stress and decreased under Cd + EOA treatment, which was in accordance with expression pattern of LcAOC. The function of gene LcGR was confirmed in vitro with E. coli expression system. The subcellular localization in chloroplasts of LcGR gene was proved in Nicotiana tabacum leaves with transient transfection system of Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Furthermore, the overexpression of gene LcGR in the transgenic tabacum led to great Cd-tolerance and higher GSH accumulation. Overall, the results showed that the endogenous JA accumulation in Cd-stressed plants affects the GR expression which is crucial to the GSH accumulation and GSH-dependent tolerance to cadmium in LcGR transformants.


Glutathione reductase Lycium chinense Cadmium Jasmonic acids Oxidative stress 



This subject is supported by the National Science and Technology Major Project of China on GMO Cultivation for New Variaties (No. 2014ZX0800302B), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 31271793 and 31271419), Tianjin Research Program of Application Foundation and Advanced Technology (No. 15JCQNJC14700).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have declared that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

299_2017_2168_MOESM1_ESM.docx (142 kb)
Supplemented Fig. 1 Transcript level of the WT and the transgenic tabacum plants grown in control condition. Lanes marked WT and 1 - 9 are the semi-quantity PCR products of the WT plants and the LcGR transgenic lines. The PCR products of gene LcGR were on the top of the figure and those of gene NtUbiquitin (Ubi) were at the bottom. The Ubi gene expression was taken as the reference. (DOCX 142 kb)
299_2017_2168_MOESM2_ESM.docx (16 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 15 kb)
299_2017_2168_MOESM3_ESM.docx (17 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 16 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhigang Ma
    • 1
    • 3
  • Ting An
    • 2
  • Xuerui Zhu
    • 2
  • Jing Ji
    • 2
    Email author
  • Gang Wang
    • 2
  • Chunfeng Guan
    • 2
  • Chao Jin
    • 2
  • Lingling Yi
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Chemical Engineering and TechnologyTianjin UniversityTianjinPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringTianjin UniversityTianjinPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Bengbu Medical CollegeBengbuPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Bengbu No. 2 High SchoolBengbuPeople’s Republic of China

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