Dehydrins represent hydrophilic proteins acting mainly during cell dehydration and stress response. Dehydrins are generally thermostable; however, the so-called dehydrin-like (dehydrin-related) proteins show variable thermolability. Both groups immunoreact with antibodies directed against the K-segment of dehydrins. Plant mitochondrial dehydrin-like proteins are poorly characterized. The purpose of this study was to extend previous reports on plant dehydrins by comparing the level of immunoprecipitated dehydrin-like proteins in cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis), Arabidopsis thaliana and yellow lupin (Lupinus luteus) mitochondria under cold and heat stress.
All the analyzed plant species showed constitutive accumulation of thermostable mitochondrial putative dehydrins ranging from 50 to 70 kDa. The mitochondrial dehydrin-like proteins observed in cauliflower and Arabidopsis ranged from 10 to 100 kDa and in lupin imbibed seeds and hypocotyls - from 20 to 90 kDa. Cold treatment increased mainly the accumulation of 10-100 kDa cauliflower and Arabidopsis dehydrin-like proteins, in the patterns different in cauliflower leaf and inflorescence mitochondria. However, in lupin mitochondria, cold affected mainly 25-50 kDa proteins and seemed to induce the appearance of some novel dehydrin-like proteins. The influence of frost stress on cauliflower leaf mitochondrial dehydrin- like proteins was less significant. The impact of heat stress was less significant in lupin and Arabidopsis than in cauliflower inflorescence mitochondria. Cauliflower mitochondrial dehydrin-like proteins are localized mostly in the mitochondrial matrix; it seems that some of them may interact with mitochondrial membranes.
All the results reveal an unexpectedly broad spectrum of dehydrin-like proteins accumulated during some abiotic stress in the mitochondria of the plant species analyzed. They display only limited similarity in size to those reported previously in maize, wheat and rye mitochondria. Some small thermolabile dehydrin-like proteins were induced under stress conditions applied and therefore they are likely to be involved in stress response.
Dehydrins (DHNs), or group 2 LEA (Late Embryogenesis Abundant) proteins, play a fundamental role in plant response and adaptation to abiotic stresses. They accumulate typically in maturing seeds or are induced in vegetative tissues following salinity, dehydration, cold and freezing stress. The generally accepted classification of dehydrins is based on their structural features, such as the presence of conserved sequences, designated as Y, S and K segments. The K segment representing a highly conserved 15 amino acid motif forming amphiphilic a-helix is especially important since it has been found in all dehydrins. Since more than 20 y, they are thought to play an important protective role during cellular dehydration but their precise function remains unclear. This review outlines the current status of the progress made toward the structural, physico-chemical and functional characterization of plant dehydrins and how these features could be exploited in improving stress tolerance in plants.
abiotic stress; dehydration stress; drought; cold acclimation; freezing tolerance; LEA proteins; dehydrins
We report a series of microarray-based comparisons of gene expression in the leaf and crown of the winter barley cultivar Luxor, following the exposure of young plants to various periods of low (above and below zero) temperatures. A transcriptomic analysis identified genes which were either expressed in both the leaf and crown, or specifically in one or the other. Among the former were genes responsible for calcium and abscisic acid signalling, polyamine synthesis, late embryogenesis abundant proteins and dehydrins. In the crown, the key organ for cereal overwintering, cold treatment induced transient changes in the transcription of nucleosome assembly genes, and especially H2A and HTA11, which have been implicated in cold sensing in Arabidopsis thaliana. In the leaf, various heat-shock proteins were induced. Differences in expression pattern between the crown and leaf were frequent for genes involved in certain pathways responsible for osmolyte production (sucrose and starch, raffinose, γ-aminobutyric acid metabolism), sugar signalling (trehalose metabolism) and secondary metabolism (lignin synthesis). The action of proteins with antifreeze activity, which were markedly induced during hardening, was demonstrated by a depression in the ice nucleation temperature.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10142-011-0213-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Barley; Differentially expressed genes; Cold acclimation; Crown; Leaf; Metabolic pathways
Understanding the response of a crop to drought is the first step in the breeding of tolerant genotypes. In our study, two maize (Zea mays L.) genotypes with contrasting sensitivity to dehydration were subjected to moderate drought conditions. The subsequent analysis of their physiological parameters revealed a decreased stomatal conductance accompanied by a slighter decrease in the relative water content in the sensitive genotype. In contrast, the tolerant genotype maintained open stomata and active photosynthesis, even under dehydration conditions. Drought-induced changes in the leaf proteome were analyzed by two independent approaches, 2D gel electrophoresis and iTRAQ analysis, which provided compatible but only partially overlapping results. Drought caused the up-regulation of protective and stress-related proteins (mainly chaperones and dehydrins) in both genotypes. The differences in the levels of various detoxification proteins corresponded well with the observed changes in the activities of antioxidant enzymes. The number and levels of up-regulated protective proteins were generally lower in the sensitive genotype, implying a reduced level of proteosynthesis, which was also indicated by specific changes in the components of the translation machinery. Based on these results, we propose that the hypersensitive early stomatal closure in the sensitive genotype leads to the inhibition of photosynthesis and, subsequently, to a less efficient synthesis of the protective/detoxification proteins that are associated with drought tolerance.
Rhizophora mucronata Lam. is a tropical mangrove with semi-viviparous (cotyledon body protrusion before shedding), non-quiescent and non-desiccating (recalcitrant) seeds. As recalcitrance has been thought to relate to the absence of desiccation-related proteins such as dehydrins, we for the first time systematically described and classified embryogenesis in R. mucronata and assessed the presence of dehydrin-like proteins. Embryogenesis largely follows the classic pattern till stage eight, the torpedo stage, with the formation of a cotyledonary body. Ovule and embryo express radical adaptations to semi-vivipary in the saline environment: (1) A large, highly vacuolated and persistent endosperm without noticeable food reserves that envelopes the developing embryo. (2) Absence of vascular tissue connections between embryo and maternal tissue, but, instead, transfer layers in between endosperm and integument and endosperm and embryo. Dehydrin-like proteins (55–65 kDa) were detected by the Western analysis, in the ovules till stage 10 when the integuments are dehisced. An additional 50 kDa band was detected at stages 6–8. Together these results suggest a continuous flow of water with nutrients from the integument via the endosperm to the embryo, circumventing the vascular route and probably suppressing the initially induced dehydrin expression.
Dehydrins; Embryo development; Mangroves; Rhizophora mucronata; Semi-vivipary
• Background and Aims Dehydrins, or group 2 late embryogenic abundant proteins (LEA), are hydrophilic Gly-rich proteins that are induced in vegetative tissues in response to dehydration, elevated salt, and low temperature, in addition to being expressed during the late stages of seed maturation. With the aim of characterizing and studying genes involved in osmotic stress tolerance in coffee, several full-length cDNA-encoding dehydrins (CcDH1, CcDH2 and CcDH3) and an LEA protein (CcLEA1) from Coffea canephora (robusta) were isolated and characterized.
• Methods The protein sequences deduced from the full-length cDNA were analysed to classify each dehydrin/LEA gene product and RT–PCR was used to determine the expression pattern of all four genes during pericarp and grain development, and in several other tissues of C. arabica and C. canephora. Primer-assisted genome walking was used to isolate the promoter region of the grain specific dehydrin gene (CcDH2).
• Key Results The CcDH1 and CcDH2 genes encode Y3SK2 dehydrins and the CcDH3 gene encodes an SK3 dehydrin. CcDH1 and CcDH2 are expressed during the final stages of arabica and robusta grain development, but only the CcDH1 transcripts are clearly detected in other tissues such as pericarp, leaves and flowers. CcDH3 transcripts are also found in developing arabica and robusta grain, in addition to being detected in pericarp, stem, leaves and flowers. CcLEA1 transcripts were only detected during a brief period of grain development. Finally, over 1 kb of genomic sequence potentially encoding the entire grain-specific promoter region of the CcDH2 gene was isolated and characterized.
• Conclusions cDNA sequences for three dehydrins and one LEA protein have been obtained and the expression of the associated genes has been determined in various tissues of arabica and robusta coffees. Because induction of dehydrin gene expression is associated with osmotic stress in other plants, the dehydrin sequences presented here will facilitate future studies on the induction and control of the osmotic stress response in coffee. The unique expression pattern observed for CcLEA1, and the expression of a related gene in other plants, suggests that this gene may play an important role in the development of grain endosperm tissue. Genomic DNA containing the grain-specific CcDH2 promoter region has been cloned. Sequence analysis indicates that this promoter contains several putative regulatory sites implicated in the control of both seed- and osmotic stress-specific gene expression. Thus, the CcDH2 promoter is likely to be a useful tool for basic studies on the control of gene expression during both grain maturation and osmotic stress in coffee.
Dehydrins; late embryogenic abundant protein (LEA); seed development; Coffea; C. canephora; C. arabica; Rubiaceae
Dehydrins (DHNs) protect plant cells from desiccation damage during environmental stress, and also participate in host resistance to various pathogens. In this study, we aimed to identify and characterize the DHN gene families from Vitis vinifera and wild V. yeshanensis, which is tolerant to both drought and cold, and moderately resistant to powdery mildew.
Four DHN genes were identified in both V. vinifera and V. yeshanensis, which shared a high sequence identity between the two species but little homology between the genes themselves. These genes were designated DHN1, DHN2, DHN3 and DHN4. All four of the DHN proteins were highly hydrophilic and were predicted to be intrinsically disordered, but they differed in their isoelectric points, kinase selectivities and number of functional motifs. Also, the expression profiles of each gene differed appreciably from one another. Grapevine DHN1 was not expressed in vegetative tissues under normal growth conditions, but was induced by drought, cold, heat, embryogenesis, as well as the application of abscisic acid (ABA), salicylic acid (SA), and methyl jasmonate (MeJA). It was expressed earlier in V. yeshanensis under drought conditions than in V. vinifera, and also exhibited a second round of up-regulation in V. yeshanensis following inoculation with Erysiphe necator, which was not apparent in V. vinifera. Like DHN1, DHN2 was induced by cold, heat, embryogenesis and ABA; however, it exhibited no responsiveness to drought, E. necator infection, SA or MeJA, and was also expressed constitutively in vegetative tissues under normal growth conditions. Conversely, DHN3 was only expressed during seed development at extremely low levels, and DHN4 was expressed specifically during late embryogenesis. Neither DHN3 nor DHN4 exhibited responsiveness to any of the treatments carried out in this study. Interestingly, the presence of particular cis-elements within the promoter regions of each gene was positively correlated with their expression profiles.
The grapevine DHN family comprises four divergent members. While it is likely that their functions overlap to some extent, it seems that DHN1 provides the main stress-responsive function. In addition, our results suggest a close relationship between expression patterns, physicochemical properties, and cis-regulatory elements in the promoter regions of the DHN genes.
Grapevine; Dehydrin; Stress-induced expression; Powdery mildew; Promoter
This article identifies novel stress-protective proteins that belong to the family of intrinsically unstructured proteins, DprA and DprB, which are associated with the cytosol and the peroxisomes in Aspergillus fumigatus.
During a search for genes controlling conidial dormancy in Aspergillus fumigatus, two dehydrin-like genes, DprA and DprB, were identified. The deduced proteins had repeated stretches of 23 amino acids that contained a conserved dehydrin-like protein (DPR) motif. Disrupted DprAΔ mutants were hypersensitive to oxidative stress and to phagocytic killing, whereas DprBΔ mutants were impaired in osmotic and pH stress responses. However, no effect was observed on their pathogenicity in our experimental models of invasive aspergillosis. Molecular dissection of the signaling pathways acting upstream showed that expression of DprA was dependent on the stress-activated kinase SakA and the cyclic AMP-protein kinase A (cAMP-PKA) pathways, which activate the bZIP transcription factor AtfA, while expression of DprB was dependent on the SakA mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway, and the zinc finger transcription factor PacC. Fluorescent protein fusions showed that both proteins were associated with peroxisomes and the cytosol. Accordingly, DprA and DprB were important for peroxisome function. Our findings reveal a novel family of stress-protective proteins in A. fumigatus and, potentially, in filamentous ascomycetes.
Temperate cereals, such as wheat (Triticum spp.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare), respond to prolonged cold by becoming more tolerant of freezing (cold acclimation) and by becoming competent to flower (vernalization). These responses occur concomitantly during winter, but vernalization continues to influence development during spring. Previous studies identified VERNALIZATION1 (VRN1) as a master regulator of the vernalization response in cereals. The extent to which other genes contribute to this process is unclear. In this study the Barley1 Affymetrix chip was used to assay gene expression in barley seedlings during short or prolonged cold treatment. Gene expression was also assayed in the leaves of plants after prolonged cold treatment, in order to identify genes that show lasting responses to prolonged cold, which might contribute to vernalization-induced flowering. Many genes showed altered expression in response to short or prolonged cold treatment, but these responses differed markedly. A limited number of genes showed lasting responses to prolonged cold treatment. These include genes known to be regulated by vernalization, such as VRN1 and ODDSOC2, and also contigs encoding a calcium binding protein, 23-KD jasmonate induced proteins, an RNase S-like protein, a PR17d secretory protein and a serine acetyltransferase. Some contigs that were up-regulated by short term cold also showed lasting changes in expression after prolonged cold treatment. These include COLD REGULATED 14B (COR14B) and the barley homologue of WHEAT COLD SPECIFIC 19 (WSC19), which were expressed at elevated levels after prolonged cold. Conversely, two C-REPEAT BINDING FACTOR (CBF) genes showed reduced expression after prolonged cold. Overall, these data show that a limited number of barley genes exhibit lasting changes in expression after prolonged cold treatment, highlighting the central role of VRN1 in the vernalization response in cereals.
The development of chilling and freezing injury symptoms in plants is known to frequently coincide with peroxidation of free fatty acids. Mitochondria are one of the major sources of reactive oxygen species during cold stress. Recently it has been suggested that uncoupling of oxidation and phosphorylation in mitochondria during oxidative stress can decrease ROS formation by mitochondrial respiratory chain generation. At the same time, it is known that plant uncoupling mitochondrial protein (PUMP) and other UCP-like proteins are not the only uncoupling system in plant mitochondria. All plants have cyanide-resistant oxidase (AOX) whose activation causes an uncoupling of respiration and oxidative phosphorylation. Recently it has been found that in cereals, cold stress protein CSP 310 exists, and that this causes uncoupling of oxidation and phosphorylation in mitochondria.
We studied the effects of CSP 310-like native cytoplasmic proteins from a number of cereal species (winter rye, winter wheat, Elymus and maize) on the energetic activity of winter wheat mitochondria. This showed that only CSP 310 (cold shock protein with molecular weight 310 kD) caused a significant increase of non-phosphorylative respiration. CSP 310-like proteins of other cereals studied did not have any significant influence on mitochondrial energetic activity. It was found that among CSP 310-like proteins only CSP 310 had prooxidant activity. At the same time, Elymus CSP 310-like proteins have antioxidant activity. The study of an influence of infiltration by different plant uncoupling system activators (pyruvate, which activates AOX, and linoleic acid which is a substrate and activator for PUMP and CSP 310) showed that all of these decreased lipid peroxidation during cold stress.
Different influence of CSP 310-like proteins on mitochondrial energetic activity and lipid peroxidation presumably depend on the various subunit combinations in their composition. All the plant cell systems that caused an uncoupling of oxidation and phosphorylation in plant mitochondria can participate in plant defence from oxidative damage during cold stress.
The genomes of three plants, Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), rice (Oryza sativa), and soybean (Glycine max), have been sequenced, and their many genes and promoters have been predicted. In Arabidopsis, cis-acting promoter elements involved in cold- and dehydration-responsive gene expression have been extensively analysed; however, the characteristics of such cis-acting promoter sequences in cold- and dehydration-inducible genes of rice and soybean remain to be clarified. In this study, we performed microarray analyses using the three species, and compared characteristics of identified cold- and dehydration-inducible genes. Transcription profiles of the cold- and dehydration-responsive genes were similar among these three species, showing representative upregulated (dehydrin/LEA) and downregulated (photosynthesis-related) genes. All (46 = 4096) hexamer sequences in the promoters of the three species were investigated, revealing the frequency of conserved sequences in cold- and dehydration-inducible promoters. A core sequence of the abscisic acid-responsive element (ABRE) was the most conserved in dehydration-inducible promoters of all three species, suggesting that transcriptional regulation for dehydration-inducible genes is similar among these three species, with the ABRE-dependent transcriptional pathway. In contrast, for cold-inducible promoters, the conserved hexamer sequences were diversified among these three species, suggesting the existence of diverse transcriptional regulatory pathways for cold-inducible genes among the species.
plant genome; cis-acting promoter elements; cold; dehydration; microarray
Osmotic stresses such as drought, salinity, and cold are major environmental factors that limit agricultural productivity worldwide. Protein phosphorylation/dephosphorylation are major signalling events induced by osmotic stress in higher plants. Sucrose non-fermenting 1-related protein kinase2 family members play essential roles in response to hyperosmotic stresses in Arabidopsis, rice, and maize. In this study, the function of TaSnRK2.4 in drought, salt, and freezing stresses in Arabidopsis was characterized. A translational fusion protein of TaSnRK2.4 with green fluorescent protein showed subcellular localization in the cell membrane, cytoplasm, and nucleus. To examine the role of TaSnRK2.4 under various environmental stresses, transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing wheat TaSnRK2.4 under control of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter were generated. Overexpression of TaSnRK2.4 resulted in delayed seedling establishment, longer primary roots, and higher yield under normal growing conditions. Transgenic Arabidopsis overexpressing TaSnRK2.4 had enhanced tolerance to drought, salt, and freezing stresses, which were simultaneously supported by physiological results, including decreased rate of water loss, enhanced higher relative water content, strengthened cell membrane stability, improved photosynthesis potential, and significantly increased osmotic potential. The results show that TaSnRK2.4 is involved in the regulation of enhanced osmotic potential, growth, and development under both normal and stress conditions, and imply that TaSnRK2.4 is a multifunctional regulatory factor in Arabidopsis. Since the overexpression of TaSnRK2.4 can significantly strengthen tolerance to drought, salt, and freezing stresses and does not retard the growth of transgenic Arabidopsis plants under well-watered conditions, TaSnRK2.4 could be utilized in transgenic breeding to improve abiotic stresses in crops.
Abiotic stress; morphological character; physiological trait; stress responses
Background and Aims
DREB proteins are involved mainly in plant responses to abiotic stresses such as cold, drought or high salinity as well as ABA signalling. However, the function of most rice DREB genes and the underlying molecular mechanisms controlling these responses remains elusive. In this study, ARAG1, a rice DREB gene, was functionally analysed.
Antisense and over-expression constructs of ARAG1 were introduced into rice by an Agrobacterium-mediated method. RT-PCR and western blot were used to detect ARAG1 accumulation in transgenics. PEG and ABA were used to test their response to abiotic stresses.
ARAG1 was expressed in inflorescences, roots, immature embryos and germinating seeds, but not in coleoptiles, leaves or mature embryos. Drought stress and ABA treatment increased transcript levels of the gene rapidly. ARAG1 knockdown line was hypersensitive to ABA application during seed germination and seedling growth. However, the line over-expressing ARAG1 behaved similarly to wild type in these circumstances. Knockdown of ARAG1 weakened tolerance of the transgenic seedlings to drought stress, while over-expression of it increased the tolerance slightly. In addition, activity of α-amylases was enhanced in germinating seeds of the knockdown and over-expression lines.
These results indicate that ARAG1 was involved in the ABA signalling and stress responsive pathways.
Abscisic acid (ABA); AP2/EREBP; ARAG1; DREB; drought; Oryza sativa
The voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC) is the major transport protein in the outer membrane of mitochondria and plays crucial roles in energy metabolism, apoptosis, and metabolites transport. In plants, the expression of VDACs can be affected by different stresses, including drought, salinity and pathogen defense. In this study, we investigated the expression pattern of AtVDAC2 in A. thaliana and found ABA suppressed the accumulation of AtVDAC2 transcripts. Further, phenotype analysis of this VDAC deregulated-expression transgenic Arabidopsis plants indicated that AtVDAC2 anti-sense line showed an ABA-insensitivity phenotype during the early seedling development under ABA treatment. The results suggested that AtVDAC2 might be involved in ABA signaling in A. thaliana.
Arabidopsis thaliana; voltage-dependent anion channel; abscisic acid; ABA signaling
A dodecapeptide of A-gliadin, which shares amino acid homologies with the E1b protein of adenovirus 12, was used to produce murine monoclonal antibodies. Five monoclonal antibodies were produced and were screened by enzyme linked immunosorbant assay, immunodot assay, and immunoblotting. The antibodies were tested against whole wheat gliadin and its alpha, beta, gamma, and omega subfractions, and the prolamins of rye, barley, oats, maize, millet, rice, and sorghum. Four of the five antibodies cross reacted with one or more of the coeliac non-toxic cereals--maize, millet, sorghum, and rice. The monoclonal antibody that did not cross react with these non-toxic cereals, did not recognize Frazer's fraction III, a peptic-tryptic digest of wheat gluten which is known to be toxic. The results suggest that the A-gliadin dodecapeptide shares a region of homology with cereals that do not exacerbate coeliac disease. This study does not support the hypothesis that prior infection with adenovirus 12 is a precipitating factor in coeliac disease.
The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) play critical roles in mediating abiotic stress responses in plants. It is well known that ABA is involved in the modulation of ROS levels by regulating ROS-producing and ROS-scavenging genes, but the molecular mechanisms underlying this regulation are poorly understood. Here we show that the expression of maize ABP9 gene, which encodes a bZIP transcription factor capable of binding to the ABRE2 motif in the maize Cat1 promoter, is induced by ABA, H2O2, drought and salt. Constitutive expression of ABP9 in transgenic Arabidopsis leads to remarkably enhanced tolerance to multiple stresses including drought, high salt, freezing temperature and oxidative stresses. ABP9 expressing Arabidopsis plants also exhibit increased sensitivity to exogenously applied ABA during seed germination, root growth and stomatal closure and improved water-conserving capacity. Moreover, constitutive expression of ABP9 causes reduced cellular levels of ROS, alleviated oxidative damage and reduced cell death, accompanied by elevated expression of many stress/ABA responsive genes including those for scavenging and regulating ROS. Taken together, these results suggest that ABP9 may play a pivotal role in plant tolerance to abiotic stresses by fine tuning ABA signaling and control of ROS accumulation.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11103-011-9732-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Transcription factor ABP9; ABA; Reactive oxygen species; Stress tolerance; Gene expression
The expressed sequence tag M6G10 was originally isolated from a screening for differentially expressed transcripts during the reproductive stage of the white truffle Tuber borchii. mRNA levels for M6G10 increased dramatically during fruiting body maturation compared to the vegetative mycelial stage.
Bioinformatics tools, phylogenetic analysis and expression studies were used to support the hypothesis that this sequence, named TbDHN1, is the first dehydrin (DHN)-like coding gene isolated in fungi. Homologs of this gene, all defined as "coding for hypothetical proteins" in public databases, were exclusively found in ascomycetous fungi and in plants. Although complete (or almost complete) fungal genomes and EST collections of some Basidiomycota and Glomeromycota are already available, DHN-like proteins appear to be represented only in Ascomycota. A new and previously uncharacterized conserved signature pattern was identified and proposed to Uniprot database as the main distinguishing feature of this new group of DHNs. Expression studies provide experimental evidence of a transcript induction of TbDHN1 during cellular dehydration.
Expression pattern and sequence similarities to known plant DHNs indicate that TbDHN1 is the first characterized DHN-like protein in fungi. The high similarity of TbDHN1 with homolog coding sequences implies the existence of a novel fungal/plant group of LEA Class II proteins characterized by a previously undescribed signature pattern.
The ability of plants to withstand drought, a potentially major constraint to yield and production, is influenced by abscisic acid (ABA). ABA is synthesized in the cytosol from plastid carotenoid pathway derived precursors, and later inactivated by the action of ABA hydroxylases. Endogenous accumulation of ABA is controlled by both its synthesis and catabolism. Enzymatic activity of ABA 8′-hydroxylase (ABA8Ox), also referred to as CYP707A, is considered one of the key steps in modulating ABA levels that control numerous physiological processes. To investigate the role of this enzyme, maize ABA8Ox gene family members were identified. ABA8Ox gene expression was then analyzed in different tissues and roots during the drought-stress response in maize. These genes were found to be expressed in all tissues, with a high degree of specificity to each tissue and some degree of overlap. Maize ABA8Ox1a and ABA8Ox1b were shown to be the major transcript components for regulating ABA catabolism in drought-stressed roots. Phylogenetic and gene-structure analyses were performed to extend the implications and infer the cause of ABA catabolism in other cereal crops.
ABA; abiotic stress; carotenoids; maize; sorghum; rice
To better understand abscisic acid (ABA) regulation of the synthesis of chloroplast proteins in maize (Zea mays L.) in response to drought and light, we compared leaf proteome differences between maize ABA-deficient mutant vp5 and corresponding wild-type Vp5 green and etiolated seedlings exposed to drought stress. Proteins extracted from the leaves of Vp5 and vp5 seedlings were used for two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) and subsequent matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS). After Coomassie brilliant blue staining, approximately 450 protein spots were reproducibly detected on 2-DE gels. A total of 36 differentially expressed protein spots in response to drought and light were identified using MALDI-TOF MS and their subcellular localization was determined based on the annotation of reviewed accession in UniProt Knowledgebase and the software prediction. As a result, corresponding 13 proteins of the 24 differentially expressed protein spots were definitely localized in chloroplasts and their expression was in an ABA-dependent way, including 6 up-regulated by both drought and light, 5 up-regulated by drought but down-regulated by light, 5 up-regulated by light but down-regulated by drought; 5 proteins down-regulated by drought were mainly those involved in photosynthesis and ATP synthesis. Thus, the results in the present study supported the vital role of ABA in regulating the synthesis of drought- and/or light-induced proteins in maize chloroplasts and would facilitate the functional characterization of ABA-induced chloroplast proteins in C4 plants.
DREB (dehydration-responsive element-binding protein) transcription factors have important roles in the stress-related regulation network in plants. A DREB orthologue, GmDREB3, belonging to the A-5 subgroup of the DREB subfamily, was isolated from soybean using the RACE (rapid amplification of cDNA ends) method. Northern blot analysis showed that expression of GmDREB3 in soybean seedlings was induced following cold stress treatment for 0.5 h and was not detected after 3 h. However, it was not induced by drought and high salt stresses or by abscisic acid (ABA) treatment. This response was similar to those of members in the A-1 subgroup and different from those of other members in the A-5 subgroup, suggesting that the GmDREB3 gene was involved in an ABA-independent cold stress-responsive signal pathway. Furthermore, analysis of the GmDREB3 promoter elucidated its cold-induced modulation. A promoter fragment containing bases −1058 to −664 was involved in response to cold stress, and its effect was detected for 1 h after treatment, but a transcriptional repressor appeared to impair this response by binding to a cis-element in the region −1403 to −1058 at 24 h after the beginning of cold stress. Moreover, the GmDREB3 protein could specifically bind to the DRE element in vitro, and activated expression of downstream reporter genes in yeast cells. In addition, overexpression of GmDREB3 enhanced tolerance to cold, drought, and high salt stresses in transgenic Arabidopsis. Physiological analyses indicated that the fresh weight and osmolality of GmDREB3 transgenic Arabidopsis under cold stress were higher than those of wild-type controls. GmDREB3 transgenic tobacco accumulated higher levels of free proline under drought stress and retained higher leaf chlorophyll levels under high salt stress than wild-type tobacco. In addition, constitutive expression of GmDREB3 in transgenic Arabidopsis caused growth retardation, whereas its expression under control of the stress-inducible Rd29A promoter minimized negative effects on plant growth under normal growth conditions, indicating that a combination of the Rd29A promoter and GmDREB3 might be useful for improving tolerance to environmental stresses in crop plants.
Abiotic stress; DREB transcription factor; drought tolerance; gene function; soybean
Plasma membrane protein 3 (PMP3), a class of small hydrophobic polypeptides with high sequence similarity, is responsible for salt, drought, cold, and abscisic acid. These small hydrophobic ploypeptides play important roles in maintenance of ion homeostasis. In this study, eight ZmPMP3 genes were cloned from maize and responsive to salt, drought, cold and abscisic acid. The eight ZmPMP3s were membrane proteins and their sequences in trans-membrane regions were highly conserved. Phylogenetic analysis showed that they were categorized into three groups. All members of group II were responsive to ABA. Functional complementation showed that with the exception of ZmPMP3-6, all were capable of maintaining membrane potential, which in turn allows for regulation of intracellular ion homeostasis. This process was independent of the presence of Ca2+. Lastly, over-expression of ZmPMP3-1 enhanced growth of transgenic Arabidopsis under salt condition. Through expression analysis of deduced downstream genes in transgenic plants, expression levels of three ion transporter genes and four important antioxidant genes in ROS scavenging system were increased significantly in transgenic plants during salt stress. This tolerance was likely achieved through diminishing oxidative stress due to the possibility of ZmPMP3-1's involvement in regulation of ion homeostasis, and suggests that the modulation of these conserved small hydrophobic polypeptides could be an effective way to improve salt tolerance in plants.
On water deficit, abscisic acid (ABA) induces stomata closure to reduce water loss by transpiration. To identify Arabidopsis thaliana mutants which transpire less on drought, infrared thermal imaging of leaf temperature has been used to screen for suppressors of an ABA-deficient mutant (aba3-1) cold-leaf phenotype. Three novel mutants, called hot ABA-deficiency suppressor (has), have been identified with hot-leaf phenotypes in the absence of the aba3 mutation. The defective genes imparted no apparent modification to ABA production on water deficit, were inherited recessively and enhanced ABA responses indicating that the proteins encoded are negative regulators of ABA signalling. All three mutants showed ABA-hypersensitive stomata closure and inhibition of root elongation with little modification of growth and development in non-stressed conditions. The has2 mutant also exhibited increased germination inhibition by ABA, while ABA-inducible gene expression was not modified on dehydration, indicating the mutated gene affects early ABA-signalling responses that do not modify transcript levels. In contrast, weak ABA-hypersensitivity relative to mutant developmental phenotypes suggests that HAS3 regulates drought responses by both ABA-dependent and independent pathways. has1 mutant phenotypes were only apparent on stress or ABA treatments, and included reduced water loss on rapid dehydration. The HAS1 locus thus has the required characteristics for a targeted approach to improving resistance to water deficit. In contrast to has2, has1 exhibited only minor changes in susceptibility to Dickeya dadantii despite similar ABA-hypersensitivity, indicating that crosstalk between ABA responses to this pathogen and drought stress can occur through more than one point in the signalling pathway.
Background and Aims
Molybdenum (Mo) is an essential trace element for higher plants. It has been shown that application of Mo enhances the cold resistance of winter wheat. In order to improve our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of cold resistance arising from application of Mo in winter wheat, investigations were made regarding the transcription of cold-responsive (COR) genes in abscisic acid (ABA)-dependent and ABA-independent pathways in winter wheat regulated by Mo application under low-temperature stress.
Two cultivars of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum), Mo-efficient cultivar ‘97003’ and Mo-inefficient cultivar ‘97014’, were grown in control (−Mo) and Mo fertilizer (+Mo) treatments for 40 d at 15/12 °C (day/night), and the temperature was then reduced to 5/2 °C (day/night) to create low-temperature stress. Aldehyde oxidase (AO) activities, ABA contents, the transcripts of basic leucine zipper (bZIP)-type transcription factor (TF) genes, ABA-dependent COR genes, CBF/DREB transcription factor genes and ABA-independent COR genes were investigated at 0, 3, 6 and 48 h post cold stress.
Mo application significantly increased AO activity, ABA levels, and expression of bZIP-type TF genes (Wlip19 and Wabi5) and ABA-dependent COR genes (Wrab15, Wrab17, Wrab18 and Wrab19). Mo application increased expression levels of CBF/DREB transcription factor genes (TaCBF and Wcbf2-1) and ABA-independent COR genes (Wcs120, Wcs19, Wcor14 and Wcor15) after 3 and 6 h exposure to low temperature.
Mo might regulate the expression of ABA-dependent COR genes through the pathway: Mo → AO → ABA → bZIP → ABA-dependent COR genes in winter wheat. The response of the ABA-dependent pathway to Mo was prior to that of the ABA-independent pathway. Similarities and differences between the Mo-efficient and Mo-inefficient wheat cultivars in response to Mo under cold stress are discussed.
Molybdenum; cold resistance; cold responsive gene; low-temperature stress; ABA-dependent pathway; ABA-independent pathway; aldehyde oxidase
Frost is an important abiotic stress that limits cereal production in the temperate zone. As the most frost tolerant small grain cereal, rye (Secale cereale L.) is an ideal cereal model for investigating the genetic basis of frost tolerance (FT), a complex trait with polygenic inheritance. Using 201 genotypes from five Eastern and Middle European winter rye populations, this study reports a multi-platform candidate gene-based association analysis in rye using 161 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and nine insertion-deletion (Indel) polymorphisms previously identified from twelve candidate genes with a putative role in the frost responsive network.
Phenotypic data analyses of FT in three different phenotyping platforms, controlled, semi-controlled and field, revealed significant genetic variations in the plant material under study. Statistically significant (P < 0.05) associations between FT and SNPs/haplotypes of candidate genes were identified. Two SNPs in ScCbf15 and one in ScCbf12, all leading to amino acid exchanges, were significantly associated with FT over all three phenotyping platforms. Distribution of SNP effect sizes expressed as percentage of the genetic variance explained by individual SNPs was highly skewed towards zero with a few SNPs obtaining large effects. Two-way epistasis was found between 14 pairs of candidate genes. Relatively low to medium empirical correlations of SNP-FT associations were observed across the three platforms underlining the need for multi-level experimentation for dissecting complex associations between genotypes and FT in rye.
Candidate gene based-association studies are a powerful tool for investigating the genetic basis of FT in rye. Results of this study support the findings of bi-parental linkage mapping and expression studies that the Cbf gene family plays an essential role in FT.
A new member of the AP2/ERF transcription factor family, GmERF3, was isolated from soybean. Sequence analysis showed that GmERF3 contained an AP2/ERF domain of 58 amino acids and two putative nuclear localization signal (NLS) domains. It belonged to a group IV protein in the ERF (ethylene response factor) subfamily as typified by a conserved N-terminal motif [MCGGAI(I/L)]. Expression of GmERF3 was induced by treatments with high salinity, drought, abscisic acid (ABA), salicylic acid (SA), jasmonic acid (JA), ethylene (ET), and soybean mosaic virus (SMV), whereas there was no significant GmERF3 mRNA accumulation under cold stress treatment. GmERF3 could bind to the GCC box and DRE/CRT element, and was targeted to the nucleus when transiently expressed in onion epidermal cells. The GmERF3 protein fused to the GAL4 DNA-binding domain to activate transcription of reporter genes in yeast. Ectopic expression of the GmERF3 gene in transgenic tobacco plants induced the expression of some PR genes and enhanced resistance against infection by Ralstonia solanacearum, Alternaria alternata, and tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), and gave tolerance to high salinity and dehydration stresses. Furthermore, overexpression of GmERF3 in transgenic tobacco led to higher levels of free proline and soluble carbohydrates compared to wild-type plants under drought conditions. The overall results suggested that GmERF3 as an AP2/ERF transcription factor may play dual roles in response to biotic and abiotic stresses in plants.
Abiotic stress; biotic stress; ethylene response factor; pathogen