Plant Cell Reports

, Volume 38, Issue 9, pp 1039–1051 | Cite as

FvC5SD overexpression enhances drought tolerance in soybean by reactive oxygen species scavenging and modulating stress-responsive gene expression

  • Ling Zhang
  • Tong Li
  • Yang Wang
  • Yuanyu Zhang
  • Ying-shan DongEmail author
Original Article


Key message

Overexpression of FvC5SD improves drought tolerance in soybean.


Drought stress is one of the most important abiotic stress factors that influence soybean crop quality and yield. Therefore, the creation of drought-tolerant soybean germplasm resources through genetic engineering technology is effective in alleviating drought stress. FvC5SD is a type of C-5 sterol desaturase gene that is obtained from the edible fungus Flammulina velutipes. This gene has good tolerance to the effects of stresses, including drought and low temperature, in yeast cells and tomato. In this study, we introduced the FvC5SD gene into the soybean variety Shennong9 through the Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of soybean to identify drought-tolerant transgenic soybean varieties. PCR, RT-PCR, and Southern blot analysis results showed that T-DNA was inserted into the soybean genome and stably inherited by the progeny. The ectopic expression of FvC5SD under the control of a CaMV 35S promoter in transgenic soybean plants enhanced the plant’s tolerance to dehydration and drought. Under drought conditions, the transgenic plants accumulated lower levels of reactive oxygen species and exhibited higher activities and expression levels of enzymes and cell than wild-type soybean. iTRAQ analysis of the comparative proteomics showed that some exogenous genes coding either functional or regulatory proteins were induced in the transgenic lines under drought stress. FvC5SD overexpression can serve as a direct and efficient target in improving drought tolerance in soybean and may be an important biotechnological strategy for trait improvement in soybean and other crops.


Drought-tolerance FvC5SD gene Soybean Transgene 



This research work was supported by the Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Project of Jilin Province (CXGC2017ZY02), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31501327), and the Ministry of Agriculture of China for Transgenic Research (2016ZX08004-004).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ling Zhang
    • 1
  • Tong Li
    • 1
    • 3
  • Yang Wang
    • 2
  • Yuanyu Zhang
    • 1
  • Ying-shan Dong
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Jilin Provincial Key Laboratory of Agricultural BiotechnologyJilin Academy of Agricultural SciencesChangchunPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Institute of Crop Germplasm ResourcesJilin Academy of Agricultural SciencesGongzhulingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.School of Life SciencesNortheast Normal UniversityChangchunPeople’s Republic of China

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