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Overexpression of Solanum habrochaites microRNA319d (sha-miR319d) confers chilling and heat stress tolerance in tomato (S. lycopersicum)

Shi, Xiaopu, Jiang, Fangling, Wen, Junqin, Wu, Zhen
BMC plant biology 2019 v.19 no.1 pp. 214
Solanum habrochaites, Solanum lycopersicum, catalase, chlorophyll, cold tolerance, cold treatment, electrolytes, gene overexpression, genes, genetic improvement, heat, heat stress, heat tolerance, hydrogen peroxide, leaf development, leaves, malondialdehyde, signal transduction, stress response, stress tolerance, superoxide anion, superoxide dismutase, temperature, tomatoes, transgenic plants
BACKGROUND: MicroRNA319 (miR319) acts as an essential regulator of gene expression during plant development and under stress conditions. Although the role of miR319a in regulating leaf development has been well studied in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), the function of the recently discovered wild tomato Solanum habrochaites miRNA319d (sha-miR319d) remains poorly understood. In this study, we overexpressed sha-miR319d in cultivated tomato ‘Micro-Tom’ to further investigate its role in tomato temperature stress responses. RESULTS: Under chilling or heat stress, sha-miR319d-overexpressing plants showed enhanced stress tolerance, including lower relative electrolyte leakage (REL), malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration, O₂⁻ generation and H₂O₂ concentration and higher chlorophyll contents and Fv/Fm values than wild-type (WT) plants. Overexpression of sha-miR319d enhanced the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT), with possible correlation with elevated expression levels of the genes FeSOD, CuZnSOD and CAT. Moreover, different expression levels of key genes involved in chilling (MYB83 and CBF1), heat (HsfA1a, HsfA1b and Hsp90), and reactive oxygen species (ROS) (ZAT12 and ZAT10) signaling in transgenic plants and WT were determined, suggesting a role for sha-miR319d in regulating tomato temperature stress via chilling, heat and ROS signaling. Silencing GAMYB-like1 increased tomato chilling tolerance as well as the expression levels of CBF1, CuZnSOD, CAT, APX1, APX2, ZAT12 and ZAT10. Additionally, overexpression of sha-miR319d in tomato caused plant leaf crinkling and reduced height. CONCLUSIONS: Overexpression of sha-miR319d confers chilling and heat stress tolerance in tomato. Sha-miR319d regulates tomato chilling tolerance, possibly by inhibiting expression of GAMYB-like1 and further alters chilling, heat and ROS signal transduction. Our research provides insight for further study of the role of sha-miR319d in tomato growth and stress regulation and lays a foundation for the genetic improvement of tomato.