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Functional characterization of poplar NAC13 gene in salt tolerance

Zhang, Xuemei, Cheng, Zihan, Zhao, Kai, Yao, Wenjing, Sun, Xiaomei, Jiang, Tingbo, Zhou, Boru
Plant science 2019 v.281 pp. 1-8
Arabidopsis, Populus alba, biotic stress, gene expression regulation, gene overexpression, genes, hybrids, leaves, roots, salt stress, salt tolerance, stress response, transcription factors, transgenic plants
Transcription factor (TF) genes play a critical role in plant abiotic and biotic stress responses. In this study, we cloned a poplar TF NAC13 gene (Potri.001G404100.1), which is significantly up-regulated to salt stress. Then we developed gene overexpression and antisense suppression constructions driven by CaMV35S, and successfully transferred them to a poplar variety 84 K (Populus alba × P. glandulosa), respectively. Evidence from molecular assay indicated that NAC13 overexpression and antisense suppression fragments have been integrated into the poplar genome. The morphological and physiological characterization and salt treatment results indicated the NAC13-overexpressing transgenic plants enhance salt tolerance significantly, compared to wide type. In contrast, the NAC13-suppressing transgenic plants are significantly sensitive to salt stress, compared to wide type. Evidence from transgenic Arabidopsis expressing GUS gene indicated that the gene driven by NAC13 promoter is mainly expressed in the roots and leaves of young plants. These studies indicate that the NAC13 gene plays a vital role in salt stress response.