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Over-expression of SlJA2 decreased heat tolerance of transgenic tobacco plants via salicylic acid pathway


Key message

Over-expression of SlJA2 decreased the accumulation of SA, which resulted in significant physiological and gene expression changes in transgenic tobacco plants, leading to the decreased heat tolerance of transgenic tobacco.


NAC family, the largest transcription factors in plants, responses to different environmental stimuli. Here, we isolated a typical NAC transcription factor (SlJA2) from tomato and got transgenic tobacco with SlJA2 over-expression. Expression of SlJA2 was induced by heat stress (42 °C), chilling stress (4 °C), drought stress, osmotic stress, abscisic acid, and salicylic acid. Over-expression of SlJA2 decreased the accumulation of salicylic acid by regulating expression of salicylic acid degradation gene under heat stress. Compared to WT plants, stomatal apertures and water loss increased in transgenic plants, and the damage of photosynthetic apparatus and chlorophyll breakdown were more serious in transgenic plants under heat stress. Meanwhile, more H2O2 and O2 ·− were accumulated transgenic plants and proline synthesis was restricted, which resulted in more serious oxidative damage compared to WT. qRT-PCR analysis showed that over-expression of SlJA2 could down-regulate genes involved in reactive oxygen species scavenging, proline biosynthesis, and response to heat stress. All the above results indicated that SlJA2 may be a negative regulator responded to plant’s heat tolerance. Thus, this study provides new insight into roles of NAC family member in plant response to abiotic stress.

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Abscisic acid


Aureobasidin A


ABA-responsive elements


Ascorbate peroxidase

CaMV 35S:

Cauliflower mosaic virus 35S






Green fluorescent protein



H2O2 :

Hydrogen peroxide


High-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry


Late embryogenesis abundant proteins




Methyl viologen

NADPH oxidase:

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase


Nitroblue tetrazolium

O2 ·− :

Superoxide anion radical




Polyethylene glycol


Net photosynthetic rate


Photosystem II


Relative electrolyte leakage


Reactive oxygen species


Real-time quantitative PCR


Relative water content


Salicylic acid


Solanum lycopersicum jasmonic acid 2


Transcription factors


Transcription regulatory




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This work was supported by the State Key Basic Research and Development Plan of China (2015CB150105), the Natural Science Foundation of China (31171474, 31371553), and the Doctor Foundation of Shandong (2014BSB01031).

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Correspondence to Na-Na Ma or Qing-Wei Meng.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Z.-M. Liu and M.-M. Yue contributed equally to this work.

Communicated by Chun-Hai Dong.

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Liu, Z., Yue, M., Yang, D. et al. Over-expression of SlJA2 decreased heat tolerance of transgenic tobacco plants via salicylic acid pathway. Plant Cell Rep 36, 529–542 (2017).

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  • Heat stress
  • SA
  • SlJA2
  • Stomatal
  • Transgenic tobacco