JOURNAL ARTICLE

A novel Zea mays ssp. mexicana L. MYC-type ICE-like transcription factor gene ZmmICE1, enhances freezing tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana

Xiang Lu, Lei Yang, Mengyuan Yu, Jianbin Lai, Chao Wang, David McNeil, Meixue Zhou, Chengwei Yang
Plant Physiology and Biochemistry: PPB 2017, 113: 78-88
28189052
The annual Zea mays ssp. mexicana L., a member of the teosinte group, is a close wild relative of maize and thus can be effectively used in maize improvement. In this study, an ICE-like gene, ZmmICE1, was isolated from a cDNA library of RNA-Seq from cold-treated seedling tissues of Zea mays ssp. mexicana L. The deduced protein of ZmmICE1 contains a highly conserved basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) domain and C-terminal region of ICE-like proteins. The ZmmICE1 protein localizes to the nucleus and shows sumoylation when expressed in an Escherichia coli reconstitution system. In addition, yeast one hybrid assays indicated that ZmmICE1 has transactivation activities. Moreover, ectopic expression of ZmmICE1 in the Arabidopsis ice1-2 mutant increased freezing tolerance. The ZmmICE1 overexpressed plants showed lower electrolyte leakage (EL), reduced contents of malondialdehyde (MDA). The expression of downstream cold related genes of Arabidopsis C-repeat-binding factors (AtCBF1, AtCBF2 and AtCBF3), cold-responsive genes (AtCOR15A and AtCOR47), kinesin-1 member gene (AtKIN1) and responsive to desiccation gene (AtRD29A) was significantly induced when compared with wild type under low temperature treatment. Taken together, these results indicated that ZmmICE1 is the homolog of Arabidopsis inducer of CBF expression genes (AtICE1/2) and plays an important role in the regulation of freezing stress response.

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