An alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) ethylene response factor gene, MsERF11, enhances salt tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis

Tingting Chen, Qingchuan Yang, Xinquan Zhang, Wang Ding, Margaret Gruber
Plant Cell Reports 2012, 31 (9): 1737-46

UNLABELLED: A novel orthologue of ethylene response factor gene, MsERF11, was isolated from alfalfa in this study. It has an open reading frame of 807 bp, encoding a predicted polypeptide of 268 amino acids. Sequence similarity analysis clearly suggested that MsERF11 encoded an ethylene response factor protein. The results of transient expression of MsERF11 in onion epidermal cells indicated that MsERF11 is a nuclear protein. The expression pattern of MsERF11 gene was analyzed by real-time quantitative PCR and a higher level of expression was observed in leaves than was observed in roots, stems, flower buds and flowers. Furthermore, the expression was induced by PEG6000, NaCl, Al2(SO4)3 and six different hormones. Over-expressing MsERF11 resulted in enhanced tolerances to salt stress in transgenic Arabidopsis plants. This research indicates that MsERF11 has the potential to be used for improving crop's salt tolerance in areas where salinity is a limiting factor for agricultural productivity.

KEY MESSAGE: MsERF11 was isolated from alfalfa. Its expression was induced by different abiotic stresses and hormones. Over-expressing MsERF11 resulted in enhanced salt tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis plants.

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