An apple transcription factor, MdDREB76, confers salt and drought tolerance in transgenic tobacco by activating the expression of stress-responsive genes
An apple gene, MdDREB76 encodes a functional transcription factor and imparts salinity and drought stress endurance to transgenic tobacco by activating expression of stress-responsive genes.
The dehydration-responsive element (DRE)-binding protein (DREB) transcription factors are well known to be involved in regulating abiotic stress-mediated gene expression in plants. In this study, MdDREB76 gene was isolated from apple (Malus x domestica), which encodes a functional transcription factor protein. Overexpression of MdDREB76 in tobacco conferred salt and drought stress tolerance to transgenic lines by inducing antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase and catalase. The higher membrane stability index, relative water content, proline, total soluble sugar content and lesser H2O2content, electrolyte leakage and lipid peroxidation in transgenics support the improved physiological status of transgenic plants as compared to WT plants under salinity and drought stresses. The MdDREB76 overexpression upregulated the expression of stress-responsive genes that provide salinity and drought stress endurance to the plants. Compared to WT plants, transgenic lines exhibited healthy growth and higher yield under stress conditions. The present study reports MdDREB76 as a key regulator that switches on the battery of downstream genes which impart salt and osmotic stress endurance to the transgenic plants and can be used for genetic engineering of crop plants to combat salinity and drought stresses.
KeywordsAbiotic stress DREB transcription factor Malus domestica Transgenic plants Salinity tolerance Drought tolerance.
This work was financially supported by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi, India under CSIR Network Project PlaGen (BSC0107). VS and PG acknowledges Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi for providing Junior and Senior Research Fellowship, respectively.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict interests.
- Aebi H (1974) Catalases. In: Bergmeyer HU (eds) Methods of enzymatic analysis Academic New York 2:673–684Google Scholar
- Augustine SM, Ashwin Narayan J, Syamaladevi DP, Appunu C, Chakravarthi M, Ravichandran V, Tuteja N, Subramonian N (2015) Overexpression of EaDREB2 and pyramiding of EaDREB2 with the pea DNA helicase gene (PDH45) enhance drought and salinity tolerance in sugarcane (Saccharum spp. hybrid). Plant Cell Rep 34:247–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Barrs HD, Weatherley PE (1962) A re-examination of the relative turgidity technique for estimating water deficits in leaves. Aust J Biol Sci 24:519–570Google Scholar
- Chou KC, Shen HB (2010) Cell-PLoc 20: an improved package of web-servers for predicting subcellular localization of proteins in various organisms. Nat Sci 2:1090–1103Google Scholar
- FAO (2011) The state of the world’s land and water resources for food and agriculture (SOLAW)-managing systems at risk. http://www.fao.org/nr/solaw/solaw-home/en
- Hu DG, Ma QJ, Sun CH, Sun MH, You CX, Hao YJ (2015) Overexpression of MdSOS2L1 an CIPK protein kinase improves the antioxidant metabolites to enhance salt tolerance in apple and tomato. Physiol Plant 3:10–14Google Scholar
- Li X, Zhang D, Li H, Wang Y, Zhang Y, Wood AJ (2014) EsDREB2B a novel truncated DREB2-type transcription factor in the desert legume Eremosparton songoricum enhances tolerance to multiple abiotic stresses in yeast and transgenic tobacco. BMC Plant Biol 14–44Google Scholar
- Liu Q, Kasuga M, Sakuma Y, Abe H, Miura S, Goda H, Shimada Y, Yoshida S, Shinozaki K, Yamaguchi-Shinozaki K (1998) Two transcription factors DREB1 and DREB2 with an EREBP/ AP2 DNA binding domain separate two cellular signal transduction pathways in drought- and low-temperature-responsive gene expression respectively in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 10:391–406Google Scholar
- Rivero R, Sonsteby A, Heide OM, Mage F, Remberg SF (2016) Flowering phenology and the interrelations between phenological stages in apple trees (Malus domestica Borkh.) as influenced by the Nordic climate. Acta Agric Scand B Soil Plant Sci. https://doi.org/10.1080/09064710.2016.1267256 Google Scholar
- Shafi A, Chauhan R, Gill T, Swarnkar MK, Sreenivasulu Y, Kumar S, Kumar N, Shankar R, Ahuja PS, Singh AK (2015) Expression of SOD and APX genes positively regulates secondary cell wall biosynthesis and promotes plant growth and yield in Arabidopsis under salt stress. Plant Mol Biol 87:615–631CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Singh AK, Sopory SK, Wu R, Singla-Pareek SL (2010) Transgenic Approaches. In: Pareek A, Sopory SK, Bohnert HJ, Govindjee MA (eds) Abiotic stress adaptation in plants: physiological molecular and genomic foundation. Springer, Netherlands, pp 418–438Google Scholar
- Tan Y, Li M, Yang Y, Sun X, Wang N, Liang B, Ma F (2017) Overexpression of MpCYS4, a phytocystatin gene from Malus prunifolia (Willd.) Borkh. enhances stomatal closure to confer drought tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis and apple. Front Plant Sci 8:33Google Scholar
- Wang X, Zeng J, Li Y, Rong X, Sun J, Sun T, Li M, Wang L, Feng Y, Chai R, Chen M, Chang J, Li K, Yang G, He G (2015) Expression of TaWRKY44 a wheat WRKY gene in transgenic tobacco confers multiple abiotic stress tolerances. Front Plant Sci 6:615Google Scholar
- Zhang J, Kirkham MB (1994) Drought-stress-induced changes in activities of superoxide dismutase catalase and peroxidase in wheat species. 35:785–791Google Scholar
- Zhang X, Liu X, Wu L, Yu G, Wang X, Ma H (2015a) The SsDREB transcription factor from the succulent halophyte Suaeda salsa enhances abiotic stress tolerance in transgenic tobacco. Int J Genomics 2015:875497Google Scholar