Functional & Integrative Genomics

, Volume 17, Issue 2–3, pp 279–292 | Cite as

Drought-inducible expression of Hv-miR827 enhances drought tolerance in transgenic barley

  • Jannatul Ferdous
  • Ryan Whitford
  • Martin Nguyen
  • Chris Brien
  • Peter Langridge
  • Penny J. Tricker
Original Article

Abstract

Drought is one of the major abiotic stresses reducing crop yield. Since the discovery of plant microRNAs (miRNAs), considerable progress has been made in clarifying their role in plant responses to abiotic stresses, including drought. miR827 was previously reported to confer drought tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis. We examined barley (Hordeum vulgare L. ‘Golden Promise’) plants over-expressing miR827 for plant performance under drought. Transgenic plants constitutively expressing CaMV-35S::Ath-miR827 and drought-inducible Zm-Rab17::Hv-miR827 were phenotyped by non-destructive imaging for growth and whole plant water use efficiency (WUEwp). We observed that the growth, WUEwp, time to anthesis and grain weight of transgenic barley plants expressing CaMV-35S::Ath-miR827 were negatively affected in both well-watered and drought-treated growing conditions compared with the wild-type plants. In contrast, transgenic plants over-expressing Zm-Rab17::Hv-miR827 showed improved WUEwp with no growth or reproductive timing change compared with the wild-type plants. The recovery of Zm-Rab17::Hv-miR827 over-expressing plants also improved following severe drought stress. Our results suggest that Hv-miR827 has the potential to improve the performance of barley under drought and that the choice of promoter to control the timing and specificity of miRNA expression is critical.

Keywords

Ath-miR827 Hv-miR827 Non-destructive imaging Promoter 

Supplementary material

10142_2016_526_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (21 kb)
ESM 1(XLSX 20 kb)
10142_2016_526_MOESM2_ESM.docx (22.8 mb)
ESM 2(DOCX 23365 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jannatul Ferdous
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ryan Whitford
    • 1
    • 2
  • Martin Nguyen
    • 3
  • Chris Brien
    • 3
  • Peter Langridge
    • 2
  • Penny J. Tricker
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Australian Centre for Plant Functional GenomicsAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.School of Agriculture, Food and WineThe University of Adelaide, PMB1Glen OsmondAustralia
  3. 3.Phenomics and Bioinformatics Research Centre, School of Information Technology and Mathematical SciencesUniversity of South AustraliaMawson LakesAustralia

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