Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 132, Issue 6, pp 825–837 | Cite as

Universal stress protein in Malus sieversii confers enhanced drought tolerance

  • Meiling Yang
  • Shiyou Che
  • Yunxiu Zhang
  • Hongbin Wang
  • Tao Wei
  • Guorong YanEmail author
  • Wenqin SongEmail author
  • Weiwei YuEmail author
Regular Paper


Drought is an important environmental factor that can severely affect plant growth and reproduction. Although many genes related to drought tolerance have been studied in economically important crops, very few genes have been functionally identified in Malus sieversii. In this study, we isolated a new gene based on throughput RNA sequencing analysis and constructed genetic expression vectors and transformed in Arabidopsis thaliana for functional verification. The results showed that MsUspA ectopic expression driven by constitutive (CaMV 35S) promoter gave rise to substantial improvements in ability of transgenic A. thaliana plants to survive under extreme drought conditions. Improved drought resistance mainly depends on more compact cellular structure, longer roots, strong resilience and low-level ROS. Molecular expression analysis showed that MsUspA may be involved in hormone and secondary metabolite synthesis regulation to improve drought resistance.


M. sieversii Transcriptome MsUspA Drought stress 


Author contributions

Conceptualization, WY, WS, GY and MY; methodology, MY and SC; formal analysis, MY, HW, YZ; resources, GY; writing-review and editing, TW; project administration, WS; data curation, WY.


This research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31371682), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (ZYGX2014J081).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10265_2019_1133_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (227 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 226 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Surface-Earth System ScienceTianjin UniversityTianjinChina
  2. 2.College of Life SciencesNankai UniversityTianjinChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Medicinal Chemical BiologyNankai UniversityTianjinChina
  4. 4.College of Horticulture and LandscapeTianjin Agricultural UniversityTianjinChina

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