Main content area

Isolation and characterization of MbWRKY2 gene involved in enhanced drought tolerance in transgenic tobacco

Han, Deguo, Zhang, Zhaoyuan, Ding, Haibin, Chai, Lijing, Liu, Wei, Li, Hongxia, Yang, Guohui
Journal of plant interactions 2018 v.13 no.1 pp. 163-172
Malus baccata, chlorophyll, drought tolerance, electrolytes, genes, hydrogen peroxide, oxidative stress, peroxidase, proline, stress response, superoxide dismutase, tobacco, transcription factors, transgenic plants, water content, water stress
Plant-specific WRKY transcription factors are widely involved in abiotic stress responses. In this study, a WRKY gene was isolated from Malus baccata (L.) Borkh and designated it as MbWRKY2. Subcellular localization showed that MbWRKY2 was localized in the nucleus. The expression levels of MbWRKY2 were up-regulated by abiotic stresses in M. baccata. When MbWRKY2 was introduced into tobacco, it improved drought stress tolerance in transgenic plants. The transgenic tobaccos had the higher contents of chlorophyl, proline, relative water content, AsA, and GSH, increased activities of CAT, APX, SOD, and POD, and decreased levels of MDA, H₂O₂, and electrolyte leakage than wild-type, especially when dealt with dehydration treatment. Moreover, the MbWRKY2-OE plants enhanced the expression of oxidative stress response and stress-related genes involved in osmotic adjustment and membrane protection. These results suggest that MbWRKY2 gene plays a positive regulatory role in drought stress response.