ResearchPad - plant-defenses https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[A MYB transcription factor, <i>BnMYB2</i>, cloned from ramie (<i>Boehmeria nivea</i>) is involved in cadmium tolerance and accumulation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15762 MYB-related transcription factors play important roles in plant development and response to various environmental stresses. In the present study, a novel MYB gene, designated as BnMYB2 (GenBank accession number: MF741319.1), was isolated from Boehmeria nivea using rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) and RT-PCR on a sequence fragment from a ramie transcriptome. BnMYB2 has a 945 bp open reading frame encoding a 314 amino acid protein that contains a DNA-binding domain and shares high sequence identity with MYB proteins from other plant species. The BnMYB2 promoter contains several putative cis-acting elements involved in stress or phytohormone responses. A translational fusion of BnMYB2 with enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) showed nuclear and cytosolic subcellular localization. Real-time PCR results indicated that BnMYB2 expression was induced by Cadmium (Cd) stress. Overexpression of BnMYB2 in Arabidopsis thaliana resulted in a significant increase of Cd tolerance and accumulation. Thus, BnMYB2 positively regulated Cd tolerance and accumulation in Arabidopsis, and could be used to enhance the efficiency of Cd removal with plants.

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<![CDATA[Genome-wide identification of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade and expression profiling of <i>CmMAPKs</i> in melon (<i>Cucumis melo</i> L.)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14577 Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) is a form of serine/threonine protein kinase that activated by extracellular stimulation acting through the MAPK cascade (MAPKKK-MAPKK-MAPK). The MAPK cascade gene family, an important family of protein kinases, plays a vital role in responding to various stresses and hormone signal transduction processes in plants. In this study, we identified 14 CmMAPKs, 6 CmMAPKKs and 64 CmMAPKKKs in melon genome. Based on structural characteristics and a comparison of phylogenetic relationships of MAPK gene families from Arabidopsis, cucumber and watermelon, CmMAPKs and CmMAPKKs were categorized into 4 groups, and CmMAPKKKs were categorized into 3 groups. Furthermore, chromosome location revealed an unevenly distribution on chromosomes of MAPK cascade genes in melon, respectively. Eventually, qRT-PCR analysis showed that all 14 CmMAPKs had different expression patterns under drought, salt, salicylic acid (SA), methyl jasmonate (MeJA), red light (RL), and Podosphaera xanthii (P. xanthii) treatments. Overall, the expression levels of CmMAPK3 and CmMAPK7 under different treatments were higher than those in control. Our study provides an important basis for future functional verification of MAPK genes in regulating responses to stress and signal substance in melon.

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<![CDATA[Seed germination of <i>Bidens subalternans</i> DC. exposed to different environmental factors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14560 Bidens subalternans DC. is a weed found in several tropical countries such as Brazil. Large number of produced seeds and easy dispersion favor the colonization of agricultural fields by this species. To know the factors that affect the germination of B. subalternans can help to understand its ecology, permitting to develop control strategies. Laboratory experiments were carried out to evaluate how the temperature, photoperiod, burial depth, water deficit, and salt stress affect the seed germination of B. subalternans. The means of the treatments of each experiment were shown in scatter plots with the bars indicating the least significant difference (LSD, p≤0.05). The results showed a germination percentage above 77% for a wide alternating temperature (15/20 C to 30/35 C night/day). The highest germination and uniformity occurred at 25/30°C night/day. Only 11% of the seeds germinated at a temperature of 35/40°C night/day. The deeper burial of seeds reduced their germination. Only 17% of the seeds germinated in darkness conditions. However, in constant light and 12 hours of light/dark conditions the germination percentage was over 96%, confirming the light dependence of the B. subalternans during germination. In constant light and 12 hours of light/dark, the germination was over 96%. B. subalternans seeds showed sensitivity to water and salt stress, and their germination was inhibited under a water potential of -0.4 MPa and 100.09 mM, respectively. The sensitivity of B. subalternans seeds to high temperatures, water stress, and salt stress explains the high frequency of this weed in south-central Brazil. The light and sowing depth showed that burial of seeds by mechanical control is a strategy to reduce the high infestation of B. subalternans.

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<![CDATA[Terminal drought and heat stress alter physiological and biochemical attributes in flag leaf of bread wheat]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14475 Heat stress along with low water availability at reproductive stage (terminal growth phase of wheat crop) is major contributing factor towards less wheat production in tropics and sub-tropics. Flag leaf plays a pivotal role in assimilate partitioning and stress tolerance of wheat during terminal growth phase. However, limited is known about biochemical response of flag leaf to combined and individual heat and drought stress during terminal growth phase. Therefore, current study investigated combined and individual effect of terminal drought and heat stress on water relations, photosynthetic pigments, osmolytes accumulation and antioxidants defense mechanism in flag leaf of bread wheat. Experimental treatments comprised of control, terminal drought stress alone (50% field capacity during reproductive phase), terminal heat stress alone (wheat grown inside plastic tunnel during reproductive phase) and terminal drought stress + terminal heat stress. Individual and combined imposition of drought and heat stresses significantly (p≤0.05) altered water relations, osmolyte contents, soluble proteins and sugars along with activated antioxidant defensive system in terms of superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX). Turgor potential, POD and APX activities were lowest under individual heat stress; however, these were improved when drought stress was combined with heat stress. It is concluded that combined effect of drought and heat stress was more detrimental than individual stresses. The interactive effect of both stresses was hypo-additive in nature, but for some traits (like turgor potential and APX) effect of one stress neutralized the other. To best of our knowledge, this is the first report on physiological and biochemical response of flag leaf of wheat to combine heat and drought stress. These results will help future studies dealing with improved stress tolerance in wheat. However, detailed studies are needed to fully understand the genetic mechanisms behind these physiological and biochemical changes in flag leaf in response to combined heat and drought stress.

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<![CDATA[Extending thermotolerance to tomato seedlings by inoculation with SA1 isolate of <i>Bacillus cereus</i> and comparison with exogenous humic acid application]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11229 Heat stress is one of the major abiotic stresses that impair plant growth and crop productivity. Plant growth-promoting endophytic bacteria (PGPEB) and humic acid (HA) are used as bio-stimulants and ecofriendly approaches to improve agriculture crop production and counteract the negative effects of heat stress. Current study aimed to analyze the effect of thermotolerant SA1 an isolate of Bacillus cereus and HA on tomato seedlings. The results showed that combine application of SA1+HA significantly improved the biomass and chlorophyll fluorescence of tomato plants under normal and heat stress conditions. Heat stress increased abscisic acid (ABA) and reduced salicylic acid (SA) content; however, combined application of SA1+HA markedly reduced ABA and increased SA. Antioxidant enzymes activities revealed that SA1 and HA treated plants exhibited increased levels of ascorbate peroxidase (APX), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and reduced glutathione (GSH). In addition, heat stress markedly reduced the amino acid contents; however, the amino acids were increased with co-application of SA1+HA. Similarly, inductively-coupled plasma mass-spectrometry results showed that plants treated with SA1+HA exhibited significantly higher iron (Fe+), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K+) uptake during heat stress. Heat stress increased the relative expression of SlWRKY33b and autophagy-related (SlATG5) genes, whereas co-application of SA1+HA augmented the heat stress response and reduced SlWRKY33b and SlATG5 expression. The heat stress-responsive transcription factor (SlHsfA1a) and high-affinity potassium transporter (SlHKT1) were upregulated in SA1+HA-treated plants. In conclusion, current findings suggest that co-application with SA1+HA can be used for the mitigation of heat stress damage in tomato plants and can be commercialized as a biofertilizer.

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<![CDATA[Identification and expression analysis of miRNAs and elucidation of their role in salt tolerance in rice varieties susceptible and tolerant to salinity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N52f944dc-26d8-4e67-9222-1bf646d955e0

Soil salinization is a serious problem for cultivation of rice, as among cereals rice is the most salt sensitive crop, and more than 40% of the total agricultural land amounting to approximately 80 million ha the world over is salt affected. Salinity affects a plant in a varieties of ways, including ion toxicity, osmotic stress and oxidative damage. Since miRNAs occupy the top place in biochemical events determining a trait, understanding their role in salt tolerance is highly desirable, which may allow introduction of the trait in the rice cultivars of choice through biotechnological interventions. High throughput sequencing of sRNAs in the root and shoot tissues of the seedlings of the control and NaCl treated Pokkali, a salt-tolerant rice variety, identified 75 conserved miRNAs and mapped 200 sRNAs to the rice genome as novel miRNAs. Expression of nine novel miRNAs and two conserved miRNAs were confirmed by Northern blotting. Several of both conserved and novel miRNAs that expressed differentially in root and/or shoot tissues targeted transcription factors like AP2/EREBP domain protein, ARF, NAC, MYB, NF-YA, HD-Zip III, TCP and SBP reported to be involved in salt tolerance or in abiotic stress tolerance in general. Most of the novel miRNAs expressed in the salt tolerant wild rice Oryza coarctata, suggesting conservation of miRNAs in taxonomically related species. One of the novel miRNAs, osa-miR12477, also targeted L-ascorbate oxidase (LAO), indicating build-up of oxidative stress in the plant upon salt treatment, which was confirmed by DAB staining. Thus, salt tolerance might involve miRNA-mediated regulation of 1) cellular abundance of the hormone signaling components like EREBP and ARF, 2) synthesis of abiotic stress related transcription factors, and 3) antioxidative component like LAO for mitigation of oxidative damage. The study clearly indicated importance of osa-miR12477 regulated expression of LAO in salt tolerance in the plant.

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<![CDATA[Plant begomoviruses subvert ubiquitination to suppress plant defenses against insect vectors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c784ff3d5eed0c4840079a5

Most plant viruses are vectored by insects and the interactions of virus-plant-vector have important ecological and evolutionary implications. Insect vectors often perform better on virus-infected plants. This indirect mutualism between plant viruses and insect vectors promotes the spread of virus and has significant agronomical effects. However, few studies have investigated how plant viruses manipulate plant defenses and promote vector performance. Begomoviruses are a prominent group of plant viruses in tropical and sub-tropical agro-ecosystems and are transmitted by whiteflies. Working with the whitefly Bemisia tabaci, begomoviruses and tobacco, we revealed that C2 protein of begomoviruses lacking DNA satellites was responsible for the suppression of plant defenses against whitefly vectors. We found that infection of plants by tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), one of the most devastating begomoviruses worldwide, promoted the survival and reproduction of whitefly vectors. TYLCV C2 protein suppressed plant defenses by interacting with plant ubiquitin. This interaction compromised the degradation of JAZ1 protein, thus inhibiting jasmonic acid defense and the expression of MYC2-regulated terpene synthase genes. We further demonstrated that function of C2 protein among begomoviruses not associated with satellites is well conserved and ubiquitination is an evolutionarily conserved target of begomoviruses for the suppression of plant resistance to whitefly vectors. Taken together, these results demonstrate that ubiquitination inhibition by begomovirus C2 protein might be a general mechanism in begomovirus, whitefly and plant interactions.

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<![CDATA[Genome-wide analysis, expansion and expression of the NAC family under drought and heat stresses in bread wheat (T. aestivum L.)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897798d5eed0c4847d30f2

The NAC family is one of the largest plant-specific transcription factor families, and some of its members are known to play major roles in plant development and response to biotic and abiotic stresses. Here, we inventoried 488 NAC members in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum). Using the recent release of the wheat genome (IWGS RefSeq v1.0), we studied duplication events focusing on genomic regions from 4B-4D-5A chromosomes as an example of the family expansion and neofunctionalization of TaNAC members. Differentially expressed TaNAC genes in organs and in response to abiotic stresses were identified using publicly available RNAseq data. Expression profiling of 23 selected candidate TaNAC genes was studied in leaf and grain from two bread wheat genotypes at two developmental stages in field drought conditions and revealed insights into their specific and/or overlapping expression patterns. This study showed that, of the 23 TaNAC genes, seven have a leaf-specific expression and five have a grain-specific expression. In addition, the grain-specific genes profiles in response to drought depend on the genotype. These genes may be considered as potential candidates for further functional validation and could present an interest for crop improvement programs in response to climate change. Globally, the present study provides new insights into evolution, divergence and functional analysis of NAC gene family in bread wheat.

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<![CDATA[Analysis of transcriptional responses in root tissue of bread wheat landrace (Triticum aestivum L.) reveals drought avoidance mechanisms under water scarcity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89770fd5eed0c4847d238d

In this study, high-throughput sequencing (RNA-Seq) was utilized to evaluate differential expression of transcripts and their related genes involved in response to terminal drought in root tissues of bread wheat landrace (L-82) and drought-sensitive genotype (Marvdasht). Subsets of 460 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in drought-tolerant genotype and 236 in drought-sensitive genotype were distinguished and functionally annotated with 105 gene ontology (GO) terms and 77 metabolic pathways. Transcriptome profiling of drought-resistant genotype “L-82” showed up-regulation of genes mostly involved in Oxidation-reduction process, secondary metabolite biosynthesis, abiotic stress response, transferase activity and heat shock proteins. On the other hand, down-regulated genes mostly involved in signaling, oxidation-reduction process, secondary metabolite biosynthesis, auxin-responsive protein and lipid metabolism. We hypothesized that the drought tolerance in “L-82” was a result of avoidance strategies. Up-regulation of genes related to the deeper root system and adequate hydraulic characteristics to allow water uptake under water scarcity confirms our hypothesis. The transcriptomic sequences generated in this study provide information about mechanisms of acclimation to drought in the selected bread wheat landrace, “L-82”, and will help us to unravel the mechanisms underlying the ability of crops to reproduce and keep its productivity even under drought stress.

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<![CDATA[Rosellinia necatrix infection induces differential gene expression between tolerant and susceptible avocado rootstocks]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f14bbd5eed0c48467a754

Rosellinia necatrix is the causal agent of avocado white root rot (WRR). Control of this soil-borne disease is difficult, and the use of tolerant rootstocks may present an effective method to lessen its impact. To date, no studies on the molecular mechanisms regulating the avocado plant response towards this pathogen have been undertaken. To shed light on the mechanisms underpinning disease susceptibility and tolerance, molecular analysis of the gene’s response in two avocado rootstocks with a contrasting disease reaction was assessed. Gene expression profiles against R. necatrix were carried out in the susceptible ‘Dusa’ and the tolerant selection BG83 avocado genotypes by micro-array analysis. In ‘Dusa’, the early response was mainly related to redox processes and cell-wall degradation activities, all becoming enhanced after disease progression affected photosynthetic capacity, whereas tolerance to R. necatrix in BG83 relied on the induction of protease inhibitors and their negative regulators, as well as genes related to tolerance to salt and osmotic stress such as aspartic peptidase domain-containing proteins and gdsl esterase lipase proteins. In addition, three protease inhibitors were identified, glu protease, trypsin and endopeptidase inhibitors, which were highly overexpressed in the tolerant genotype when compared to susceptible ‘Dusa’, after infection with R. necatrix, reaching fold change values of 52, 19 and 38, respectively. The contrasting results between ‘Dusa’ and BG83 provide new insights into the different mechanisms involved in avocado tolerance to Phytophthora cinnamomi and R. necatrix, which are consistent with their biotrophic and necrotrophic lifestyles, respectively. The differential induction of genes involved in salt and osmotic stress in BG83 could indicate that R. necatrix penetration into the roots is associated with osmotic effects, suggesting that BG83’s tolerance to R. necatrix is related to the ability to withstand osmotic imbalance. In addition, the high expression of protease inhibitors in tolerant BG83 compared to susceptible ‘Dusa’ after infection with the pathogen suggests the important role that these proteins may play in the defence of avocado rootstocks against R. necatrix.

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<![CDATA[Mediterranean and Northern Iberian gene pools of wild Castanea sativa Mill. are two differentiated ecotypes originated under natural divergent selection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c75c1d5eed0c4843d00f3

Nine wild Iberian provenances of Castanea sativa Mill. grouped in two gene pools, North Iberian Peninsula and Mediterranean, were evaluated for several adaptive traits in two provenance–progeny trials with the aim of evaluating the role of natural selection in shaping adaptive variation and increasing our understanding of the genetic structure of this species, as well as reporting complete information on the genetic variation among and within the studied populations. An annual growth rhythm experiment was evaluated during the first 3 years after establishment for phenology, growth, stem form and survival, and a periodic drought-stress experiment was evaluated for dry weight, growth, survival and other related drought traits in both well-watered and drought-stress treatments. The high genetic variability reported in both trials is largely due to the genetic variation among populations. The significant differences reported between quantitative genetic and neutral marker differentiation indicated the local adaptation of these populations through directional selection, mainly for phenology, growth and biomass allocation. A clinal variation among populations was determined through correlations of phenology with latitude and xerothermic index of the provenances, showing that central and southern Mediterranean populations had earlier phenology than northern populations and that drought played a relevant role in this differentiation. The significant correlation between phenological traits and the ancestry values in the Mediterranean gene pool supported the different pattern of behavior between both gene pools and also indicated the existence of two ecotypes: xeric and mesophytic ecotypes, corresponding to Mediterranean and North Iberian gene pools, respectively. The results obtained in the drought-stress experiment confirmed that, in general terms, xeric populations showed a greater adaptability to drought, with more developed root systems and higher survival than northern populations. Moreover, the genetic variability observed within populations indicated the potential response capacity of Iberian C. sativa populations to undergo fast adaptive evolution.

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<![CDATA[Ocimum metabolomics in response to abiotic stresses: Cold, flood, drought and salinity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648ce6d5eed0c484c81a4d

Ocimum tenuiflorum is a widely used medicinal plant since ancient times and still continues to be irreplaceable due to its properties. The plant has been explored chemically and pharmacologically, however, the molecular studies have been started lately. In an attempt to get a comprehensive overview of the abiotic stress response in O. tenuiflorum, de novo transcriptome sequencing of plant leaves under the cold, drought, flood and salinity stresses was carried out. A comparative differential gene expression (DGE) study was carried out between the common transcripts in each stress with respect to the control. KEGG pathway analysis and gene ontology (GO) enrichment studies exhibited several modifications in metabolic pathways as the result of four abiotic stresses. Besides this, a comparative metabolite profiling of stress and control samples was performed. Among the cold, drought, flood and salinity stresses, the plant was most susceptible to the cold stress. Severe treatments of all these abiotic stresses also decreased eugenol which is the main secondary metabolite present in the O. tenuiflorum plant. This investigation presents a comprehensive analysis of the abiotic stress effects in O. tenuiflorum. Current study provides an insight to the status of pathway genes’ expression that help synthesizing economically valuable phenylpropanoids and terpenoids related to the adaptation of the plant. This study identified several putative abiotic stress tolerant genes which can be utilized to either breed stress tolerant O. tenuiflorum through pyramiding or generating transgenic plants.

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<![CDATA[Cloning and functional analysis of the promoter of a stress-inducible gene (Zmap) in maize]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c673070d5eed0c484f37b30

The anionic peroxidases play an important role in a variety of plant physiological processes. We characterized and isolated the Zmap promoter (PZmap) at the 5′ flanking region in order to better understand the regulatory mechanisms of Zmap gene expression. A series of PZmap deletion derivatives, termed a1 –a6, at positions −1694, −1394, −1138, −784, −527 and −221 from the translation start site were blended to the β-glucuronidase reporter gene. Agrobacterium-mediated transformation method was used to study each deletion construct in tobaccos. Sequence analysis showed that several cis-acting elements (MYB binding site, Box-II, a TGACG-element, a CGTCA-element and a low temperature responsive element) were located within the promoter. Deletion analysis suggested the sequence between −1,694 and −1394bp may contain cis-elements associated with GUS up regulation. The MYB binding site (-757) might act as a negative drought-responsive element. There might be repressor elements located in the region (−1,694 to −1394bp) to repress Zmap expression under 4°C. The characterized promoter would be an ideal candidate for genetic engineering for improving the resistance of maize to different stressors.

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<![CDATA[Drought stress affects the protein and dietary fiber content of wholemeal wheat flour in wheat/Aegilops addition lines]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c633936d5eed0c484ae624e

Wild relatives of wheat, such as Aegilops spp. are potential sources of genes conferring tolerance to drought stress. As drought stress affects seed composition, the main goal of the present study was to determine the effects of drought stress on the content and composition of the grain storage protein (gliadin (Gli), glutenin (Glu), unextractable polymeric proteins (UPP%) and dietary fiber (arabinoxylan, β-glucan) components of hexaploid bread wheat (T. aestivum) lines containing added chromosomes from Ae. biuncialis or Ae. geniculata. Both Aegilops parents have higher contents of protein and β-glucan and higher proportions of water-soluble arabinoxylans (determined as pentosans) than wheat when grown under both well-watered and drought stress conditions. In general, drought stress resulted in increased contents of protein and total pentosans in the addition lines, while the β-glucan content decreased in many of the addition lines. The differences found between the wheat/Aegilops addition lines and wheat parents under well-watered conditions were also manifested under drought stress conditions: Namely, elevated β-glucan content was found in addition lines containing chromosomes 5Ug, 7Ug and 7Mb, while chromosomes 1Ub and 1Mg affected the proportion of polymeric proteins (determined as Glu/Gli and UPP%, respectively) under both well-watered and drought stress conditions. Furthermore, the addition of chromosome 6Mg decreased the WE-pentosan content under both conditions. The grain composition of the Aegilops accessions was more stable under drought stress than that of wheat, and wheat lines with the added Aegilops chromosomes 2Mg and 5Mg also had more stable grain protein and pentosan contents. The negative effects of drought stress on both the physical and compositional properties of wheat were also reduced by the addition of these. These results suggest that the stability of the grain composition could be improved under drought stress conditions by the intraspecific hybridization of wheat with its wild relatives.

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<![CDATA[Identification of new regulators through transcriptome analysis that regulate anthocyanin biosynthesis in apple leaves at low temperatures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59fef2d5eed0c4841357fd

Anthocyanin pigments play many roles in plants, including providing protection against biotic and abiotic stresses. To identify new regulatory genes in apple (Malus domestica) that may be involved in regulating low temperature induced anthocyanin biosynthesis, we performed RNA-seq analysis of leaves from the ‘Gala’ apple cultivar following exposure to a low temperature (16 °C). A visible red color appeared on the upper leaves and the anthocyanin content increased significantly after the low temperature treatment. Genes from the flavonoid biosynthesis pathway were significantly enriched among the differentially expressed genes, and the expression of several transcription factors was shown by WGCNA (weighted gene co-expression network analysis) to correlate with anthocyanin accumulation, including members of the MYB, MADS, WRKY, WD40, Zinc Finger and HB-ZIP families. Three MYB transcription factors (MdMYB12, MdMYB22 and MdMYB114), which had several CBF/DREB response elements in their promoters, were significantly induced by low temperature exposure and their expression also correlated highly with anthocyanin accumulation. We hypothesize that they may act as regulators of anthocyanin biosynthesis and be regulated by CBF/DREB transcription factors in apple leaves under low temperature conditions. The analyses presented here provide insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying anthocyanin accumulation during low temperature exposure.

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<![CDATA[Alternative splicing of ZmCCA1 mediates drought response in tropical maize]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b5269d5eed0c4842bc7b1

The circadian clock regulates numerous biological processes in plants, especially development and stress responses. CIRCADIAN CLOCK-ASSOCIATED 1 (CCA1) is one of the core components of the day–night rhythm response and is reportedly associated with ambient temperature in Arabidopsis thaliana. However, it remains unknown if alternative splicing of ZmCCA1 is modulated by external stress in maize, such as drought stress and photoperiod. Here, we identified three ZmCCA1 splice variants in the tropical maize line CML288, which are predicted to encode three different protein isoforms, i.e., ZmCCA1.1, ZmCCA1.2, and ZmCCA1.3, which all retain the MYB domain. In maize, the expression levels of ZmCCA1 splice variants were influenced by photoperiod, tissue type, and drought stress. In transgenic A. thaliana, ZmCCA1.1 may be more effective than ZmCCA1.3 in increasing drought tolerance while ZmCCA1.2 may have only a small effect on tolerance to drought stress. Additionally, although CCA1 genes have been found in many plant species, alternative CCA1 splicing events are known to occur in species-specific ways. Our study provides new sight to explore the function of ZmCCA1 splice variants’ response to abiotic stress, and clarify the linkage between circadian clock and environmental stress in maize.

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<![CDATA[A cation diffusion facilitator, GmCDF1, negatively regulates salt tolerance in soybean]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3d00f4d5eed0c48403708b

Salt stress is one of the major abiotic factors that affect the metabolism, growth and development of plants, and soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] germination is sensitive to salt stress. Thus, to ensure the successful establishment and productivity of soybeans in saline soil, the genetic mechanisms of salt tolerance at the soybean germination stage need to be explored. In this study, a population of 184 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) was utilized to map quantitative trait loci (QTLs) related to salt tolerance. A major QTL related to salt tolerance at the soybean germination stage named qST-8 was closely linked with the marker Sat_162 and detected on chromosome 8. Interestingly, a genome-wide association study (GWAS) identified several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) significantly associated with salt tolerance in the same genetic region on chromosome 8. Resequencing, bioinformatics and gene expression analyses were implemented to identify the candidate gene Glyma.08g102000, which belongs to the cation diffusion facilitator (CDF) family and was named GmCDF1. Overexpression and RNA interference of GmCDF1 in soybean hairy roots resulted in increased sensitivity and tolerance to salt stress, respectively. This report provides the first demonstration that GmCDF1 negatively regulates salt tolerance by maintaining K+-Na+ homeostasis in soybean. In addition, GmCDF1 affected the expression of two ion homeostasis-associated genes, salt overly sensitive 1 (GmSOS1) and Na+/H+ exchanger 1 (GmNHX1), in transgenic hairy roots. Moreover, a haplotype analysis detected ten haplotypes of GmCDF1 in 31 soybean genotypes. A candidate-gene association analysis showed that two SNPs in GmCDF1 were significantly associated with salt tolerance and that Hap1 was more sensitive to salt stress than Hap2. The results demonstrated that the expression level of GmCDF1 was negatively correlated with salt tolerance in the 31 soybean accessions (r = -0.56, P < 0.01). Taken together, these results not only indicate that GmCDF1 plays a negative role in soybean salt tolerance but also help elucidate the molecular mechanisms of salt tolerance and accelerate the breeding of salt-tolerant soybean.

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<![CDATA[RSM1, an Arabidopsis MYB protein, interacts with HY5/HYH to modulate seed germination and seedling development in response to abscisic acid and salinity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c23f311d5eed0c48404a31b

MYB transcription factors are involved in many biological processes, including metabolism, development and responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. RADIALIS-LIKE SANT/MYB 1 (RSM1) belongs to a MYB-related subfamily, and previous transcriptome analysis suggests that RSM1 may play roles in plant development, stress responses and plant hormone signaling. However, the molecular mechanisms of RSM1 action in response to abiotic stresses remain obscure. We show that down-regulation or up-regulation of RSM1 expression alters the sensitivity of seed germination and cotyledon greening to abscisic acid (ABA), NaCl and mannitol in Arabidopsis. The expression of RSM1 is dynamically regulated by ABA and NaCl. Transcription factors ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL 5 (HY5) and HY5 HOMOLOG (HYH) regulate RSM1 expression via binding to the RSM1 promoter. Genetic analyses reveal that RSM1 mediates multiple functions of HY5 in responses of seed germination, post-germination development to ABA and abiotic stresses, and seedling tolerance to salinity. Pull-down and BiFC assays show that RSM1 interacts with HY5/HYH in vitro and in vivo. RSM1 and HY5/HYH may function as a regulatory module in responses to ABA and abiotic stresses. RSM1 binds to the promoter of ABA INSENSITIVE 5 (ABI5), thereby regulating its expression, while RSM1 interaction also stimulates HY5 binding to the ABI5 promoter. However, no evidence was found in the dual-luciferase transient expression assay to support that RSM enhances the activation of ABI5 expression by HY. In summary, HY5/HYH and RSM1 may converge on the ABI5 promoter and independently or somehow dependently regulate ABI5 expression and ABI5-downstream ABA and abiotic stress-responsive genes, thereby improving the adaption of plants to the environment.

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<![CDATA[Morpho-physiological responses of tall wheatgrass populations to different levels of water stress]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c215135d5eed0c4843f92b4

Tall wheatgrass [Elymus elongatus subsp. ponticus (Podp.) Melderis] is a perennial forage grass cultivated in dry, saline or alkaline environments. The morpho-physiological characteristics of four populations of tall wheatgrass from different climatic-edaphic origins were evaluated under three conditions of water stress (100%-50%-30% of field capacity). The trial was analyzed with three replicates and two-factor ANOVA in pots within the greenhouse during 35 days. Only dry matter and tiller number showed interaction between populations and water conditions. The most relevant changes in morpho-physiological parameters under strong water stress were reduced dry matter production (48–32% differing among populations), smaller leaf and tiller size (46% and 28%), together with higher water use efficiency (74%), and increased proline and protein contents (144% and 71%), smaller tiller number (30–11% differing among populations) and a slight decrease in leaf water content (3%). The populations differed in growth strategies and morpho-physiological mechanisms to survive water stress, which could be related to their habitat background. The study shows the stability in dry matter production under all levels of water stress, which can be related to the higher tiller number. Due to this plasticity, tall wheatgrass should be studied as a species with great potential to adapt to drought stress.

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<![CDATA[Desert plant bacteria reveal host influence and beneficial plant growth properties]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1ab861d5eed0c484027d00

Deserts, such as those found in Saudi Arabia, are one of the most hostile places for plant growth. However, desert plants are able to impact their surrounding microbial community and select beneficial microbes that promote their growth under these extreme conditions. In this study, we examined the soil, rhizosphere and endosphere bacterial communities of four native desert plants Tribulus terrestris, Zygophyllum simplex, Panicum turgidum and Euphorbia granulata from the Southwest (Jizan region), two of which were also found in the Midwest (Al Wahbah area) of Saudi Arabia. While the rhizosphere bacterial community mostly resembled that of the highly different surrounding soils, the endosphere composition was strongly correlated with its host plant phylogeny. In order to assess whether any of the native bacterial endophytes might have a role in plant growth under extreme conditions, we analyzed the properties of 116 cultured bacterial isolates that represent members of the phyla Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria and Firmicutes. Our analysis shows that different strains have highly different biochemical properties with respect to nutrient acquisition, hormone production and growth under stress conditions. More importantly, eleven of the isolated strains could confer salinity stress tolerance to the experimental model plant Arabidopsis thaliana suggesting some of these plant-associated bacteria might be useful for improving crop desert agriculture.

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