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A small heat shock protein CaHsp25.9 positively regulates heat, salt, and drought stress tolerance in pepper (Capsicum annuum L.)

Feng, Xiao-Hui, Zhang, Huai-Xia, Ali, Muhammad, Gai, Wen-Xian, Cheng, Guo-Xin, Yu, Qing-Hui, Yang, Sheng-Bao, Li, Xi-Xuan, Gong, Zhen-Hui
Plant physiology and biochemistry 2019 v.142 pp. 151-162
Arabidopsis, Capsicum annuum, cell membranes, chlorophyll, crop yield, cytoplasm, drought tolerance, environmental factors, enzyme activity, genes, germination, heat, heat shock proteins, heat stress, heat tolerance, hydrogen peroxide, malondialdehyde, pepper, peroxidase, proline, salt stress, superoxide anion, superoxide dismutase, thermosensitivity, transcription (genetics), transgenic plants, water stress
Extreme environmental conditions seriously affect crop growth and development, resulting in a decrease in crop yield and quality. However, small heat shock proteins (Hsp20s) play an important role in helping plants to avoid these negative impacts. In this study, we identified the expression pattern of the CaHsp25.9 gene in a thermo-tolerance pepper line R9 and thermo-sensitive line B6. The transcription of CaHsp25.9 was strongly induced by heat stress in both R9 and B6. The expression of CaHsp25.9 was induced by salt and drought stress in R9. Additionally, the CaHsp25.9 protein was localized in the cell membrane and cytoplasm. When silencing the CaHsp25.9 gene in the R9 line, the accumulation of malonaldehyde (MDA), relative electrolytic leakage, hydrogen peroxide, superoxide anion were increased, while total chlorophyll decreased under heat, salt, and drought stress. Over-expression of CaHsp25.9 in Arabidopsis resulted in decreased MDA, while proline, superoxide dismutase activity, germination, and root length increased under heat, salt, and drought stress. However, peroxidase activity was higher in drought stress but lower in heat and salt stress in transgenic Arabidopsis compared to the wild type (WT). Furthermore, the transcription of stress related genes was more highly induced in transgenic lines than WT. Our results indicated that CaHsp25.9 confers heat, salt, and drought stress tolerance to plants by reducing the accumulation of reactive oxygen species, enhancing the activity of antioxidant enzymes, and regulating the expression of stress-related genes. Therefore, these results may provide insight into plant adaption mechanisms developed in variable environments.