Identification and characterization of a novel NAC-like gene in chrysanthemum (Dendranthema lavandulifolium)

Yanfang Yang, Kai Zhu, Jian Wu, Liqing Liu, Guiling Sun, Yanbiao He, Fadi Chen, Deyue Yu
Plant Cell Reports 2016, 35 (8): 1783-98
A NAC -like gene named DlNAC1 was identified in chrysanthemum and characterized; it may be involved in regulation of response to abiotic stressors, especially in tolerance to drought and salinity. NAC transcription factors in plants play crucial roles in tolerance to abiotic stressors, and overexpression of the NAC gene in Arabidopsis has been demonstrated to lead to improved drought tolerance. Functions of the NAC genes in chrysanthemum, however, remain poorly understood. In this study, a NAC-like gene named DlNAC1 was identified in chrysanthemum (Dendranthema lavandulifolium) and characterized. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that DlNAC1 contains a typical NAC domain and belongs to the ONAC022 subgroup. According to the subcellular localization and yeast one-hybrid assay, the DlNAC1 protein is localized to nuclei and has a transcription activation ability. Moreover, quantitative real-time PCR analyses showed that DlNAC1 was induced by low-temperature, high-salinity, and drought conditions (separately), but not by abscisic acid (ABA) and heat shock. In these experiments, the downstream genes of NAC transcription factors were found to be up-regulated, including stress-responsive genes KIN1 and AMY1. To further explore the effects of DlNAC1 in response to abiotic stressors, DlNAC1 was overexpressed in tobacco, and these transgenic plants showed significantly enhanced tolerance to drought and salinity. This study suggests that in chrysanthemum, the DlNAC1 gene is involved in regulation of the response to abiotic stressors, especially in tolerance to drought and salinity.

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