Plant Cell Reports

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 453–465 | Cite as

Enhanced multiple stress tolerance in Arabidopsis by overexpression of the polar moss peptidyl prolyl isomerase FKBP12 gene

  • Hemasundar Alavilli
  • Hyoungseok Lee
  • Mira Park
  • Dae-Jin Yun
  • Byeong-ha LeeEmail author
Original Article


Key message

PaFKBP12 overexpression in Arabidopsis resulted in stress tolerance to heat, ABA, drought, and salt stress, in addition to growth promotion under normal conditions.


Polytrichastrum alpinum (alpine haircap moss) is one of polar organisms that can withstand the severe conditions of the Antarctic. In this study, we report the isolation of a peptidyl prolyl isomerase FKBP12 gene (PaFKBP12) from P. alpinum collected in the Antarctic and its functional implications in development and stress responses in plants. In P. alpinum, PaFKBP12 expression was induced by heat and ABA. Overexpression of PaFKBP12 in Arabidopsis increased the plant size, which appeared to result from increased rates of cell cycle. Under heat stress conditions, PaFKBP12-overexpressing lines (PaFKBP12-OE) showed better growth and survival than the wild type. PaFKBP12-OE also showed higher root elongation rates, better shoot growth and enhanced survival at higher concentrations of ABA in comparison to the wild type. In addition, PaFKBP12-OE were more tolerant to drought and salt stress than the wild type. All these phenotypes were accompanied with higher induction of the stress responsive genes in PaFKBP12-OE than in the wild type. Taken together, our findings revealed important functions of PaFKBP12 in plant development and abiotic stress responses.


FK506 binding protein FKBP12 Peptidyl prolyl isomerase Stress tolerance Arabidopsis thaliana Polytrichastrum alpinum 



This work was supported by the Global Research Laboratory Program (2017K1A1A2013146) through the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT), Republic of Korea, and by Polar Genomics 101 Project (PE17080), the Korea Polar Research Institute.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

299_2017_2242_MOESM1_ESM.tiff (4.1 mb)
Supplementary Fig. 1. Measurement of stomatal aperture after ABA treatment. ABA-induced stomatal closure was measured in all the variants shown. Stomatal aperture was measured as the width/length ratio of the epidermal peels obtained from 3–4-week-old seedlings in the presence or absence of 10 µM ABA. At least 20 stomatal apertures were measured for each variant. Error bars indicate standard error (TIFF 4223 KB)
299_2017_2242_MOESM2_ESM.tiff (4.1 mb)
Supplementary Fig. 2. Salt stress tolerance in PaFKBP12-OE lines. a Quantification of seed germination WT and PaFKBP12-OE (3 days after NaCl treatments). b, c Seedling survival analysis under 200 mM NaCl stress conditions (4 days after transfer to NaCl MS media from normal MS). d, e Chlorophyll retention comparison of 24 day old seedlings between WT and PaFKBP12-OE on 0 or 150 mM NaCl-containing MS media. Quantification of seedling phenotypes (d) and chlorophyll A contents (e). f Root elongation comparison between WT and PaFKBP12-OE at various NaCl concentrations. Error bars represent standard deviation of mean of three biological repeats. Asterisks indicate statistical significance in LSD test (p < 0.05) (TIFF 4222 KB)
299_2017_2242_MOESM3_ESM.tiff (4.1 mb)
Supplementary Fig. 3. Stress inducible gene expression in PaFKBP12-OE lines after ABA or drought treatment. Relative expressions of stress inducible genes in WT and PaFKBP12-OE in response to ABA (100 µM for 3 hours) and drought (air dry on a filter paper for 3 hours) were measured by qRT-PCR. Arabidopsis Clathrin (At4g24550) gene was used as an internal control for normalization of different cDNA samples. Three biological replicates were averaged and error bars represent standard deviation (TIFF 4222 KB)
299_2017_2242_MOESM4_ESM.xlsx (10 kb)
Supplementary material 4 (XLSX 10 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Life ScienceSogang UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Unit of Polar GenomicsKorea Polar Research InstituteIncheonSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Biomedical Science and EngineeringKonkuk UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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