Role of a cotton endoreduplication-related gene, GaTOP6B, in response to drought stress
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Cotton GaTOP6B is involved in cellular endoreduplication and a positive response to drought stress via promoting plant leaf and root growth.
Drought is deemed as one of adverse conditions that could cause substantial reductions in crop yields worldwide. Since cotton exhibits a moderate-tolerant phenotype under water-deficit conditions, the plant could therefore be used to characterize potential new genes regulating drought tolerance in crop plants. In this work, GaTOP6B, encoding DNA topoisomerase VI subunit B, was identified in Asian cotton (Gossypium arboreum). Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) and overexpression (OE) were used to investigate the biological function of GaTOP6B in G. arboreum and Arabidopsis thaliana under drought stress. The GaTOP6B-silencing plants showed a reduced ploidy level, and displayed a compromised tolerance phenotype including lowered relative water content (RWC), decreased proline content and antioxidative enzyme activity, and an increased malondialdehyde (MDA) content under drought stress. GaTOP6B-overexpressing Arabidopsis lines, however, had increased ploidy levels, and were more tolerant to drought treatment, associated with improved RWC maintenance, higher proline accumulation, and reduced stomatal aperture under drought stress. Transcriptome analysis showed that genes involved in the processes like cell cycle, transcription and signal transduction, were substantially up-regulated in GaTOP6B-overexpressing Arabidopsis, promoting plant growth and development. More specifically, under drought stress, the genes involved in the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites such as phenylpropanoid, starch and sucrose were selectively enhanced to improve tolerance in plants. Taken together, the results demonstrated that GaTOP6B could coordinately regulate plant leaf and root growth via cellular endoreduplication, and positively respond to drought stress. Thus, GaTOP6B could be a competent candidate gene for improvement of drought tolerance in crop species.
KeywordsArabidopsis Cotton Drought tolerance Endoreduplication Gossypium arboreum Topoisomerase VIB Transcriptome
Differentially expressed genes
Open reading frame
Relative water content
Virus-induced gene silencing
This work was financially supported by the Program for Science and Technology Innovation Talents in Universities of Henan Province (No. 19HASTIT014), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31600995) and the fund of the Science and Technology Cooperation Projects of Henan Province of China (No. 152106000055).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declared that they have no conflicts of interest to this work.
The experiments in this study comply with the current laws of China.
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