Expression of a transcription factor from Capsicum annuum in pine calli counteracts the inhibitory effects of salt stress on adventitious shoot formation
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Transcription factors regulating the stress-responsive gene expression play an important role in plant stress adaptation. In this study, we examined the salt stress tolerance of transgenic Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana Mill.) overexpressing a Capsicum annuum ERF/AP2-type transcription factor (CaPF1), which may enhance the ability of transgenic plants to tolerate various kinds of stresses during vegetative growth. CaPF1 transgene increased the salt and oxidative stress tolerances of pine tissues and counteracted the inhibitory effects of salt stress on the growth of transgenic Virginia pine calli, shoots, and plants. To our surprise, the ability of shoot formation was enhanced in three CaPF1 transgenic Virginia pine cell lines under stress of different NaCl concentrations. NaCl at 200 mM significantly increased the frequency of adventitious shoot formation and the number of shoots per gram calli. Measurement of plant hormone demonstrated that the levels of cytokinin was altered in CaPF1-overexpressed Virginia pine calli, compared to the control. Based on our results, we speculate that the altered level of cytokinin may result in enhancing adventitious shoot formation of transgenic calli exposed to salt for 1 week via an unknown mechanism.
KeywordsCytokinin Pinus virginiana Mill. Stress tolerance Transcription factor
The authors are grateful to Dr. D. Choi for the gift of the vector pMBP-1-CaPF1, and to undergraduate research assistants Ambrosia Yarn, Oghale Asagbra, Zalak Daftary, Nicki Whitley, and Tinya DeLaGarza, for their work in isolating mature embryos for callus induction. We thank Mr. H. Wang and Dr. C. Li for the assistance in the experiment of phytohormone measurement. This work was supported by the East Carolina Christmas Tree Program.
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