GbMPK3, a mitogen-activated protein kinase from cotton, enhances drought and oxidative stress tolerance in tobacco
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Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades are highly conserved signaling modules found in all eukaryotes, and play significant roles in developmental and environmental signal transduction. In this study, a MAPK gene (GbMPK3), which showed homologous to AtMPK3 and NtWIPK, was isolated from sea-island cotton (Gossypium barbadense) and induced during multiple abiotic stress treatments including salt, cold, heat, dehydration and oxidative stress. Transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana benthamiana) with constitutively higher expression of GbMPK3 was conferred with enhanced drought tolerance, reduced water loss during drought treatment and improved plant height and survival rates after re-watering. Additionally, the gene expression levels and enzymatic activity of antioxidant enzymes were more strongly induced with depressed hydrogen peroxide accumulation in GbMPK3-overexpressing tobacco compared with wild-type under drought condition. Furthermore, observation of seed germination and leaf morphology showed that tolerance of transgenic plants to methyl viologen was improved due to increased antioxidant enzyme expression, suggesting that GbMPK3 may positively regulate drought tolerance through enhanced reactive oxygen species scavenging ability.
KeywordsGossypium barbadense Nicotiana benthamiana GbMPK3 Drought tolerance Oxidative stress tolerance
Funding provided by the National High-tech R&D Program of China (863 Program) (No. 2013AA102601-4) and the project from Ministry of Agriculture of China (2013ZX08005-004) are greatly appreciated.
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