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Overexpression of two ATNAC3-related genes improves drought and salt tolerance in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.)

Abstract

The NAC family is a multigene family that present uniquely in plants and whose members are involved in many important cellular processes including abiotic stress tolerance. In this study, sequences of two ATNAC3-related genes (SlNAC3) were identified in the tomato genome using different bioinformatics approaches. Phylogenetic analysis clustered 84 tomato identified NAC proteins into 19 different subfamilies that included 5 subfamilies for stress-related NAC genes with SlNAC3 members clustered with previously characterized ATNAC3 members from Arabidopsis. Gene expression analysis of SlNAC3 genes indicated that both of them are expressed in response to drought and salinity stress conditions. The over-expression of two stress-related SlNAC3 in tomato plants resulted in enhanced drought and salt tolerance when compared with wild type plants. The identified stress-related NAC genes could be a useful tool to improve tomato productivity under stress conditions.

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Acknowledgments

We gratefully acknowledge Miss Shireen Qasrawi, Mrs. Samar Misbeh and Mrs. Tamara Qudah for their technical assistance. We thank Dr. Wendy Harwood for critically reading the manuscript, her helpful comments and encouraging remarks. This work was supported in part by a grant from the Deanship of Scientific Research, University of Jordan and in part by a grant from the Ford Foundation.

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Correspondence to A. M. Al-Abdallat.

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A. M. Al-Abdallat and M. A. Ali-Sheikh-Omar contributed equally to this work.

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Al-Abdallat, A.M., Ali-Sheikh-Omar, M.A. & Alnemer, L.M. Overexpression of two ATNAC3-related genes improves drought and salt tolerance in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.). Plant Cell Tiss Organ Cult 120, 989–1001 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11240-014-0652-8

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Keywords

  • Bioinformatics
  • Drought
  • Phylogenetics
  • Promoter
  • Solanum lycopersicum
  • Transcription factor