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Molecular cloning and functional analysis of MbWRKY3 involved in improved drought tolerance in transformed tobacco

Han, Deguo, Zhang, Zhaoyuan, Ding, Haibin, Wang, Yufang, Liu, Wei, Li, Hongxia, Yang, Guohui
Journal of plant interactions 2018 v.13 no.1 pp. 329-337
Malus baccata, abscisic acid, catalase, chlorophyll, drought, drought tolerance, electrolytes, gene expression regulation, genes, hydrogen peroxide, molecular cloning, oxygen, peroxidase, proline, salinity, stress response, superoxide dismutase, tobacco, transcription factors, transgenic plants, water content, water stress
Plant-specific WRKY transcription factors were involved in stress responses and ABA signaling. In the present study, a WRKY gene is isolated from Malus baccata (L.) Borkh and designated as MbWRKY3. Subcellular localization revealed that MbWRKY3 was localized onto nucleus. The MbWRKY3 expression levels were up-regulated by salinity, drought, and ABA treatments in M. baccata. When MbWRKY3 was introduced into tobaccos, it improved drought stress tolerance in transgenic plants. Compared to WT, the transgenic tobaccos had the higher levels of relative water content, and proline and chlorophyll contents, decreased levels of electrolyte leakage, MDA, and H₂O₂, increased activities of the reactive oxygen species-related enzymes (SOD, CAT, and POD), and greater up-regulations of the corresponding genes (NtSOD, NtCAT, and NtPOD), especially when dealt with drought stress. These results suggest that MbWRKY3 gene plays a positive regulatory role in drought stress response.