Isolation and molecular characterization of a novel WIN1/SHN1 ethylene-responsive transcription factor TdSHN1 from durum wheat (Triticum turgidum. L. subsp. durum)

Rania Djemal, Habib Khoudi
Protoplasma 2015, 252 (6): 1461-73
Over the last decade, APETALA2/Ethylene Responsive Factor (AP2/ERF) proteins have become the subject of intensive research activity due to their involvement in a variety of biological processes. This research led to the identification of AP2/ERF genes in many species; however, little is known about these genes in durum wheat, one of the most important cereal crops in the world. In this study, a new member of the AP2/ERF transcription factor family, designated TdSHN1, was isolated from durum wheat using thermal asymetric interlaced PCR (TAIL-PCR) method. Protein sequence analysis showed that TdSHN1 contained an AP2/ERF domain of 63 amino acids and a putative nuclear localization signal (NLS). Phylogenetic analysis showed that TdSHN1 belongs to a group Va protein in the ERF subfamily which contains the Arabidopsis ERF proteins (SHN1, SHN2, and SHN3). Expression of TdSHN1 was strongly induced by salt, drought, abscisic acid (ABA), and cold. In planta, TdSHN1 protein was able to activate the transcription of GUS reporter gene driven by the GCC box and DRE element sequences. In addition, TdSHN1 was targeted to the nucleus when transiently expressed in tobacco epidermal cells. In transgenic yeast, overexpression of TdSHN1 increased tolerance to multiple abiotic stresses. Taken together, the results showed that TdSHN1 encodes an abiotic stress-inducible, transcription factor which confers abiotic stress tolerance in yeast. TdSHN1 is therefore a promising candidate for improvement of biotic and abiotic stress tolerance in wheat as well as other crops.

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