Overexpression of a novel salt stress-induced glycine-rich protein gene from alfalfa causes salt and ABA sensitivity in Arabidopsis

Ruicai Long, Qingchuan Yang, Junmei Kang, Tiejun Zhang, Huimin Wang, Mingna Li, Ze Zhang
Plant Cell Reports 2013, 32 (8): 1289-98
We cloned a novel salt stress-induced glycine-rich protein gene ( MsGRP ) from alfalfa. Its overexpression retards seed germination and seedling growth of transgenic Arabidopsis after salt and ABA treatments. Since soil salinity is one of the most significant abiotic stresses, salt tolerance is required to overcome salinity-induced reductions in crop productivity. Many glycine-rich proteins (GRPs) have been implicated in plant responses to environmental stresses, but the function and importance of some GRPs in stress responses remain largely unknown. Here, we report on a novel salt stress-induced GRP gene (MsGRP) that we isolated from alfalfa. Compared with some glycine-rich RNA-binding proteins, MsGRP contains no RNA recognition motifs and localizes in the cell membrane or cell wall according to the subcellular localization result. MsGRP mRNA is induced by salt, abscisic acid (ABA), and drought stresses in alfalfa seedlings, and its overexpression driven by a constitutive cauliflower mosaic virus-35S promoter in Arabidopsis plants confers salinity and ABA sensitivity compared with WT plants. MsGRP retards seed germination and seedling growth of transgenic Arabidopsis plants after salt and ABA treatments, which implies that MsGRP may affect germination and growth through an ABA-dependent regulation pathway. These results provide indirect evidence that MsGRP plays important roles in seed germination and seedling growth of alfalfa under some abiotic stress conditions.

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