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ABI-like transcription factor gene TaABL1 from wheat improves multiple abiotic stress tolerances in transgenic plants

Xu, Dong-Bei, Gao, Shi-Qing, Ma, You-Zhi, Xu, Zhao-Shi, Zhao, Chang-Ping, Tang, Yi-Miao, Li, Xue-Yin, Li, Lian-Cheng, Chen, Yao-Feng, Chen, Ming
Functional & integrative genomics 2014 v.14 no.4 pp. 717-730
Southern blotting, abscisic acid, binding proteins, breeding, cold stress, corn, drought, gene expression regulation, gene overexpression, genes, leaves, leucine zipper, mesophyll, phylogeny, promoter regions, rice, roots, stems, stomatal movement, transcription factors, transgenic plants, water stress, wheat
The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) plays crucial roles in adaptive responses of plants to abiotic stresses. ABA-responsive element binding proteins (AREBs) are basic leucine zipper transcription factors that regulate the expression of downstream genes containing ABA-responsive elements (ABREs) in promoter regions. A novel ABI-like (ABA-insensitive) transcription factor gene, named TaABL1, containing a conserved basic leucine zipper (bZIP) domain was cloned from wheat. Southern blotting showed that three copies were present in the wheat genome. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that TaABL1 belonged to the AREB subfamily of the bZIP transcription factor family and was most closely related to ZmABI5 in maize and OsAREB2 in rice. Expression of TaABL1 was highly induced in wheat roots, stems, and leaves by ABA, drought, high salt, and low temperature stresses. TaABL1 was localized inside the nuclei of transformed wheat mesophyll protoplast. Overexpression of TaABL1 enhanced responses of transgenic plants to ABA and hastened stomatal closure under stress, thereby improving tolerance to multiple abiotic stresses. Furthermore, overexpression of TaABL1 upregulated or downregulated the expression of some stress-related genes controlling stomatal closure in transgenic plants under ABA and drought stress conditions, suggesting that TaABL1 might be a valuable genetic resource for transgenic molecular breeding.