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VaCPK21, a calcium-dependent protein kinase gene of wild grapevine Vitis amurensis Rupr., is involved in grape response to salt stress

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Ca2+-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) are known to play important roles in signal transduction in response to various abiotic stresses that limit crop yields. Vitis amurensis is a wild grape species that possesses a high adaptive potential and displays a high resistance to environmental stresses, such as low temperatures or microbial pathogens. The roles of most grape CDPKs in the adaptation to various stresses have not yet been uncovered. A recent CDPK gene expression analysis revealed that expression of VaCPK21 gene was significantly up-regulated under salt stress and, to a less degree, under high mannitol and high temperature stresses in V. amurensis plant cuttings. In this study, the effects of overexpressing the VaCPK21 gene in callus cell lines of V. amurensis and transgenic plants of A. thaliana on their responses to abiotic stresses were investigated. The VaCPK21-overexpressing cell cultures of V. amurensis, soil-grown plants of A. thaliana, and seedlings of A. thaliana exhibited higher tolerance to salt stress in comparison with the controls transformed with the “empty” vector. Heat, cold, and drought stress resistance of the transgenic V. amurensis calli and A. thaliana plants was comparable to that of the controls. Under salt stress conditions, the stress-related genes AtCOR15, AtCOR47, AtCAT1, AtCSD1, AtNHX1, AtKIN1, AtRD26, and AtRD29B demonstrated strong up-regulation in the VaCPK21-transgenic but not in the control Arabidopsis plants. Together, the results indicate that VaCPK21 may act as a positive regulator involved in the grapevine response to salt stress.

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This work was supported by Grants from the following institutions and foundations: the Russian Science Foundation (14-14-00366) and the Dynasty Foundation (DP-B-09/14). The Russian Science Foundation supported binary vector construction, grape cell culture transformations, and selection of the transgenic calli; the Dynasty Foundation supported abiotic stress tolerance assays, transformations of Arabidopsis, and selection of the transgenic plants.

Author contributions

A.S. Dubrovina carried out a considerable part of the experiments, analyzed the data, and wrote the paper. K.V. Kiselev was involved in the experimental process, data analysis, and in the discussion of the obtained results. V.S. Khristenko and O.A. Aleynova participated in the experimental work.

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Correspondence to Alexandra S. Dubrovina.

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Dubrovina, A.S., Kiselev, K.V., Khristenko, V.S. et al. VaCPK21, a calcium-dependent protein kinase gene of wild grapevine Vitis amurensis Rupr., is involved in grape response to salt stress. Plant Cell Tiss Organ Cult 124, 137–150 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11240-015-0882-4

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  • Calcium-dependent protein kinase
  • Overexpression
  • Abiotic stress tolerance
  • Salt stress
  • Vitis amurensis
  • Gene function
  • Arabidopsis thaliana