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Overexpression of OsDT11, which encodes a novel cysteine-rich peptide, enhances drought tolerance and increases ABA concentration in rice

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Abstract

Short-chain peptides play important roles in plant development and responses to abiotic and biotic stresses. Here, we characterized a gene of unknown function termed OsDT11, which encodes an 88 amino acid short-chain peptide and belongs to the cysteine-rich peptide family. It was found that the expression of OsDT11 can be activated by polyethylene glycol (PEG) treatment. Compared with wild-type lines, the OsDT11-overexpression lines displayed dramatically enhanced tolerance to drought and had reduced water loss, reduced stomatal density, and an increased the concentration of abscisic acid (ABA). The suppression of OsDT11 expression resulted in an increased sensitivity to drought compared to wild-type expression. Several drought-related genes, including genes encoding abscisic acid (ABA) signaling markers, were also strongly induced in the OsDT11-overexpressing lines. Moreover, the expression of OsDT11 was repressed in ABA-insensitive mutant Osbzip23 and Os2H16 RNAi lines. These results suggest that OsDT11-mediated drought tolerance may be dependent on the ABA signaling pathway.

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Acknowledgments

We are grateful to Prof. Lizhong Xiong (Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China) for providing the rice seeds of the osbzip23 T-DNA insertion line and to Dr. Yang Li (Key Laboratory of Plant Stress Biology, Henan University, Kaifeng, China) for helping with the ESEM assay. This work was funded by the Shandong Modern Agricultural Technology & Industry System (SDAIT-17-06), the National Program of Transgenic Variety Development of China (2013ZX08009-004, 2014ZX08001-002), the Shandong Provincial Natural Science Foundation of PR China (ZR2014CQ044), and the Taishan Scholar Program of Shandong Province.

Author contributions

Z.C., X.D. and X.L. designed the experiments. H.H., M.C., W.Y. and N.L. performed the experiments. X.L., X.D. and L.L. analyzed data. X.L. and Z.C. wrote the article.

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Correspondence to Zhaohui Chu.

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Xiaoming Li and Huipei Han have contributed equally to this work.

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Li, X., Han, H., Chen, M. et al. Overexpression of OsDT11, which encodes a novel cysteine-rich peptide, enhances drought tolerance and increases ABA concentration in rice. Plant Mol Biol 93, 21–34 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11103-016-0544-x

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