Plant Cell Reports

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 15–24 | Cite as

The heterologous expression of CmBBX22 delays leaf senescence and improves drought tolerance in Arabidopsis

  • Yanan Liu
  • Hong Chen
  • Qi Ping
  • Zixin Zhang
  • Zhiyong Guan
  • Weimin Fang
  • Sumei Chen
  • Fadi Chen
  • Jiafu JiangEmail author
  • Fei ZhangEmail author
Original Article


Key message

CmBBX22, a transcription factor of chrysanthemum, was verified to confer drought tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana.


The BBX proteins are known to operate as regulators of plant growth and development, but as yet their contribution to the abiotic stress response has not been well defined. Here, the chrysanthemum BBX family member CmBBX22, an ortholog of AtBBX22, was found to be transcribed throughout the plant, although at varying intensity, and was induced by imposing moisture deficiency via exposure to polyethylene glycol. The heterologous, constitutive expression of this gene in Arabidopsis thaliana compromised germination and seedling growth, but enhanced the plants’ ability to tolerate drought stress. In transgenic plants challenged with abscisic acid, leaf senescence was delayed and the senescence-associated genes and chlorophyll catabolic genes SAG29, NYE1, NYE2 and NYC1 were down-regulated. We speculated that CmBBX22 may serves as a regulator in mediating drought stress tolerance and delaying leaf senescence.


CmBBX22 Drought Abscisic acid Germination Chlorophyll degradation 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31572159), the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars (31425022).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yanan Liu
    • 1
  • Hong Chen
    • 1
  • Qi Ping
    • 1
  • Zixin Zhang
    • 1
  • Zhiyong Guan
    • 1
  • Weimin Fang
    • 1
  • Sumei Chen
    • 1
  • Fadi Chen
    • 1
  • Jiafu Jiang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fei Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Landscaping, Ministry of Agriculture, College of HorticultureNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina

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