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ZmDBF3, a Novel Transcription Factor from Maize (Zea mays L.), Is Involved in Multiple Abiotic Stress Tolerance

Zhou, Wei, Jia, Cheng-Guo, Wu, Xian, Hu, Rui-Xue, Yu, Gang, Zhang, Xiang-Hui, Liu, Jin-Liang, Pan, Hong-Yu
Plant molecular biology reporter 2016 v.34 no.1 pp. 353-364
Arabidopsis, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Zea mays, abiotic stress, abscisic acid, cold, cold tolerance, corn, drought, freezing, genes, methyl jasmonate, plant response, potassium chloride, salicylic acid, salt tolerance, sequence analysis, sodium bicarbonate, sodium carbonate, sodium chloride, sorbitol, stress response, stress tolerance, survival rate, temperature, transcription (genetics), transcription factors, yeasts
The dehydration-responsive element-binding (DREB) transcription factors play important roles in regulation of plant responses to abiotic stresses. In the present study, ZmDBF3, a novel DREB transcription factor gene from maize (Zea mays L.), was cloned and characterized. Sequence analyses revealed that ZmDBF3 is classified into A-4 group. It was demonstrated that ZmDBF3 was induced in by salt, drought, cold, and high temperature, as well as by signaling molecules abscisic acid (ABA), but no significant changes were observed under salicylic acid (SA) and methyl jasmonate (MeJA) conditions. The results of transient expression assays and transcriptional activity analysis revealed that ZmDBF3 is a nuclear protein with transcriptional activity. Overexpression of ZmDBF3 in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) exhibited increased survival rate under NaCl, KCl, Na₂CO₃, NaHCO₃, PEG6000, freezing, and sorbitol treatment, compared with the control. Furthermore, ectopic expression of ZmDBF3 in Arabidopsis significantly enhanced tolerance to salt, drought, and freezing tolerance. Taken together, the findings indicated that the ZmDBF3 is a novel member of DREB transcription factor which may act as a regulatory factor involved in multiple stress response pathways.