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GaMYB85, an R2R3 MYB gene, in transgenic Arabidopsis plays an important role in drought tolerance
- Butt, Hamama Islam, Yang, Zhaoen, Gong, Qian, Chen, Eryong, Wang, Xioaqian, Zhao, Ge, Ge, Xiaoyang, Zhang, Xueyan, Li, Fuguang
- BMC plant biology 2017 v.17 no.1 pp. 142
- Arabidopsis thaliana, abscisic acid, chlorophyll, cold tolerance, cotton, drought, drought tolerance, gene overexpression, genes, genetic markers, isoelectric point, mannitol, molecular weight, proline, root growth, salt stress, seed germination, stomatal movement, stress tolerance, transcription (genetics), transcription factors, transgenic plants, water content, water deprivation
- BACKGROUND: MYB transcription factors (TFs) are one of the largest families of TFs in higher plants and are involved in diverse biological, functional, and structural processes. Previously, very few functional validation studies on R2R3 MYB have been conducted in cotton in response to abiotic stresses. In the current study, GaMYB85, a cotton R2R3 MYB TF, was ectopically expressed in Arabidopsis thaliana (Col-0) and was functionally characterized by overexpression in transgenic plants. RESULTS: The in-silico analysis of GaMYB85 shows the presence of a SANT domain with a conserved R2R3 MYB imperfect repeat. The GaMYB85 protein has a 257-amino acid sequence, a molecular weight of 24.91 kD, and an isoelectric point of 5.58. Arabidopsis plants overexpressing GaMYB85 exhibited a higher seed germination rate in response to mannitol and salt stress, and higher drought avoidance efficiency than wild-type plants upon water deprivation. These plants had notably higher levels of free proline and chlorophyll with subsequent lower water loss rates and higher relative water content. Germination of GaMYB85 transgenics was more sensitive to abscisic acid (ABA) and extremely liable to ABA-induced inhibition of primary root elongation. Moreover, when subjected to treatment with different concentrations of ABA, transgenic plants with ectopically expressed GaMYB85 showed reduced stomatal density, with greater stomatal size and lower stomatal opening rates than those in wild-type plants. Ectopic expression of GaMYB85 led to enhanced transcript levels of stress-related marker genes such as RD22, ADH1, RD29A, P5CS, and ABI5. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate previously unknown roles of GaMYB85, showing that it confers good drought, salt, and freezing tolerance, most probably via an ABA-induced pathway. These findings can potentially be exploited to develop improved abiotic stress tolerance in cotton plants.