Expression of OsMSR3 in Arabidopsis enhances tolerance to cadmium stress
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Cadmium (Cd) is a widespread heavy metal released in the environment as a result of rock mineralization and of anthropogenic activities. Cadmium is highly toxic to human health and animals, and it is urgent to remove cadmium from the environment. A multiple stress responsive gene, OsMSR3, from rice (Oryza sativa (L.)), a member of class I sHSP family, has been previously noted to be induced by cold, drought, and heat stresses. In this study, quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis revealed that OsMSR3 was also induced by Cd stress. Transgenic Arabidopsis expressing OsMSR3 showed enhanced tolerance to Cd, displaying longer roots, higher survival rates and accumulated more Cd, phytochelatins (PCs), non-protein thiol (NPT) and glutathione (GSH) than wild type plants under Cd condition. Expression of OsMSR3 conferred enhanced tolerance to Cd in Arabidopsis (thaliana (L.), Heynh.) accompanied by improving expressions of bHLH transcription factors and Cd stress-related genes. Taken together, our results suggested that expression of OsMSR3 in Arabidopsis enhanced tolerance to Cd stress, and OsMSR3 may act as a positive regulator of Cd stress tolerance in plants.