JOURNAL ARTICLE

A novel NAC transcription factor from Suaeda liaotungensis K. enhanced transgenic Arabidopsis drought, salt, and cold stress tolerance

Xiao-lan Li, Xing Yang, Yu-xin Hu, Xiao-dong Yu, Qiu-li Li
Plant Cell Reports 2014, 33 (5): 767-78
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Sl NAC1 functions as a stress-responsive NAC protein involved in the abscisic acid-dependent signaling pathway and enhances transgenic Arabidopsis drought, salt, and cold stress tolerance. NAC (NAM, ATAF1, 2, CUC2) transcription factors constitute the largest families of plant-specific transcription factors, known to be involved in various growth or developmental processes and in regulation of response to environmental stresses. However, only little information regarding stress-related NAC genes is available in Suaeda liaotungensis K. In this study, we cloned a full-length NAC gene (1,011 bp) named SlNAC1 using polymerase chain reaction from Suaeda liaotungensis K. and investigated its function by overexpression in transgenic Arabidopsis. SlNAC1 contains an NAC-conserved domain. Its expression in S. liaotungensis was induced by drought, high-salt, and cold (4 °C) stresses and by abscisic acid. Subcellular localization experiments in onion epidermal cells indicated that SlNAC1 is localized in the nucleus. Yeast one-hybrid assays showed that SlNAC1 functions as a transcriptional activator. SlNAC1 transgenic Arabidopsis displayed a higher survival ratio and lower rate of water loss under drought stress; a higher germination ratio, higher survival ratio, and lower root inhibition rate under salt stress; a higher survival ratio under cold stress; and a lower germination ratio and root inhibition rate under abscisic acid treatment, compared with wild-type Arabidopsis. These results suggested that SlNAC1 functions as a stress-responsive NAC protein involved in the abscisic acid-dependent signaling pathway and may have potential applications in transgenic breeding to enhance crops' abiotic stress tolerances.

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