Enhanced drought tolerance in tomato plants by overexpression of SlMAPK1

  • Liu Wang
  • Ruirui Zhao
  • Rui Li
  • Wenqing Yu
  • Meijing Yang
  • Jiping Sheng
  • Lin Shen
Original Article


Drought stress is one of the most destructive environmental factors that affect plant growth and agricultural production. Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades are important signaling pathways that participate in both biotic and abiotic stresses, which include drought. In this study, SlMAPK1 was induced by various abiotic stresses and hormone treatments. Transgenic tomato plants overexpressing SlMAPK1 were generated to further investigate the role that SlMAPK1 plays in drought tolerance. Three independent T2 transgenic lines and wild-type (WT) tomato plants were used for analysis of drought tolerance. Compared with WT plants, SlMAPK1-overexpressing lines exhibited less severe wilting, less severe cell membrane damage, and higher soluble protein and soluble sugar content, accumulated less hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), showed higher activities in the antioxidant enzymes including ascorbate peroxidase, catalase, peroxidase, and superoxide dismutase, and had an elevated transcript level of stress-related genes. Taken together, the results suggest that SlMAPK1 plays a positive role in response to drought stress by activating antioxidant enzymes, reducing oxidative damage, and modulating transcription of stress-related genes.


Tomato plants SlMAPK1 Drought tolerance Transgenic tomato Antioxidant enzymes 


Author contributions

WL, ZRR, and SL conceived and designed the experiments. WL, LR, YWQ, and YMJ performed the experiments. WL, SJP, and SL analyzed the data. WL wrote the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NO. 31371847 and 31571893) and National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, No.2013CB127106).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11240_2017_1358_MOESM1_ESM.docx (127 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 126 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Food Science and Nutritional EngineeringChina Agricultural UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Agricultural Economics and Rural DevelopmentRenmin University of ChinaBeijingChina

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