Molecular Genetics and Genomics

, Volume 288, Issue 11, pp 591–599 | Cite as

Silencing of TaBTF3 gene impairs tolerance to freezing and drought stresses in wheat

  • Guozhang Kang
  • Hongzhen Ma
  • Guoqin Liu
  • Qiaoxia Han
  • Chengwei Li
  • Tiancai Guo
Original Paper


Basic transcription factor 3 (BTF3), the β-subunit of the nascent polypeptide-associated complex, is responsible for the transcriptional initiation of RNA polymerase II and is also involved in cell apoptosis, translation initiation regulation, growth, development, and other functions. Here, we report the impact of BTF3 on abiotic tolerance in higher plants. The transcription levels of the TaBTF3 gene, first isolated from wheat seedlings in our lab, were differentially regulated by diverse abiotic stresses and hormone treatments, including PEG-induced stress (20 % polyethylene glycol 6000), cold (4 °C), salt (100 mM NaCl), abscisic acid (100 μM), methyl jasmonate (50 μM), and salicylic acid (50 μM). Southern blot analysis indicated that, in the wheat genome, TaBTF3 is a multi-copy gene. Compared to BSMV-GFP-infected wheat plants (control), under freezing (−8 °C for 48 h) or drought stress (withholding water for 15 days) conditions, TaBTF3-silenced wheat plants showed lower survival rates, free proline content, and relative water content and higher relative electrical conductivity and water loss rate. These results suggest that silencing of the TaBTF3 gene may impair tolerance to freezing and drought stresses in wheat and that it may be involved in the response to abiotic stresses in higher plants.


Drought Freezing Gene silencing TaBTF3 Triticum aestivum L. 



We sincerely thank Prof. Daowen Wang for kindly providing the BSMV vectors (Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing). This work was supported by the Special Modern Agricultural Industry (Wheat) Technology System (CARS-03), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31171471), and the Open Item of the State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology (2013KF04).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guozhang Kang
    • 1
  • Hongzhen Ma
    • 1
  • Guoqin Liu
    • 1
  • Qiaoxia Han
    • 1
  • Chengwei Li
    • 2
  • Tiancai Guo
    • 1
  1. 1.National Engineering Research Centre for Wheat, The Key Laboratory of Physiology, Ecology and Genetic Improvement of Food Crops in Henan ProvinceHenan Agricultural UniversityZhengzhouChina
  2. 2.The Collaborative Innovation Center of Henan Food CropsHenan Agricultural UniversityZhengzhouChina

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