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Molecular cloning and functional characterization of a sweetpotato chloroplast IbDHAR3 gene in response to abiotic stress

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Dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR) plays a critical role in the regeneration of ascorbic acid (AsA), and widely involved in plant tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. In this study, the IbDHAR3 gene was cloned from sweetpotato cultivar Xushu 18 by RT-PCR. The full-length of this gene was 813 bp which encodes 270 amino acids. The IbDHAR3 protein contained two conserved domains of glutathione S-transferase (GST) and GST-C-DHAR, and one chloroplast transit peptide with 52 amino acids length. Transient expression in tobacco leaf epidermal cells indicated that IbDHAR3 protein is subcellular localized to chloroplast. The qRT-PCR results revealed that the relative expression level of IbDHAR3 in leaves is much higher than that in other tissues, and could be up-regulated by ABA, drought, salinity, and high-temperature stresses. The seed germination rate and root elongation were increased in contrast to wild type under mannitol and NaCl stresses in T3 transgenic Arabidopsis overexpressing IbDHAR3 gene. The soil drought experiments showed that the overexpression of IbDHAR3 gene in Arabidopsis reduced the malondialdehyde (MDA) and the H2O2 content, enhanced the level of AtGR gene expression, superoxide dismutase (SOD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), DHAR activity, and the AsA content. Therefore, overexpression of IbDHAR3 gene could enhance the ability of scavenging reactive oxygen species such as H2O2 by promoting AsA-glutathione cycle and related antioxidant enzymes system, thereby contributing to increased stress tolerance in Arabidopsis.

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Ascorbic acid


Dehydroascorbate reductase


Reactive oxygen species


Monodehydroascorbic acid


Dehydroascorbic acid




Monodehydroascorbate reductase




Quantitative real-time PCR

H2O2 :

Hydrogen peroxide


Superoxide dismutase


Ascorbate peroxidase


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This work was supported by the Basic Research Program of Shanxi Province (201801D121204), Cultivate Project of National Science Foundation of Shanxi Agricultural University (2017GPY06), Science Innovation Foundation of Shanxi Agricultural University (2018yz003), Doctoral Research Grant of Shanxi Agricultural University (XB2009002), China Scholarship Foundation (201508140087), Systems & Synthetic Agrobiotech Center (PJ01318401), the Biogreen 21 Project for the Next Generation, Rural Development Administration, Korea.

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Correspondence to Sang-Soo Kwak.

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Wang, W., Qiu, X., Kim, H.S. et al. Molecular cloning and functional characterization of a sweetpotato chloroplast IbDHAR3 gene in response to abiotic stress. Plant Biotechnol Rep 14, 9–19 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11816-019-00576-7

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  • Sweetpotato
  • IbDHAR3
  • Ascorbic acid
  • Stress tolerance
  • Functional characterization