Expression of a wheat MYB gene in transgenic tobacco enhances resistance to Ralstonia solanacearum, and to drought and salt stresses

Hongxia Liu, Xianyao Zhou, Na Dong, Xin Liu, Huaiyu Zhang, Zengyan Zhang
Functional & Integrative Genomics 2011, 11 (3): 431-43
MYB transcription factors play diverse roles in plant growth, developmental processes and stress responses. A full-length cDNA sequence of a MYB gene, namely TaPIMP1, was isolated from wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). The TaPIMP1 transcript level was significantly up-regulated by inoculation with a fungal pathogen Bipolaris sorokiniana and by drought treatment. TaPIMP1 encodes the MYB protein TaPIMP1 consisting of 323 amino acids. TaPIMP1 contains two MYB DNA binding domains (R2, R3), two putative nuclear localization sites and two putative transcription activation domains. TaPIMP1 is a new member of the R2R3-MYB transcription factor subfamily. Transient expression in onion epidermal cells of GFP fused with TaPIMP1 proved that subcellular localization of TaPIMP1 occurred in the nucleus. The TaPIMP1 gene was transferred into tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) cultivar W38 by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. After screening through PCR and RT-PCR analyses, transgenic tobacco lines expressing TaPIMP1 were identified and evaluated for pathogen resistance, and drought and salt tolerance. Compared to untransformed tobacco host plants, TaPIMP1 expressing plants displayed significantly enhanced resistance to Ralstonia solanacearum and exhibited improved tolerances to drought and salt stresses. In these transgenic lines, the activities of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) were significantly increased relative to wild-type tobacco plants. The results suggested that the wheat R2R3-MYB transcription factor plays an important role in modulating responses to biotic and abiotic stresses.

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