• Open Access

Ectopic expression of Arabidopsis glutaredoxin AtGRXS17 enhances thermotolerance in tomato

Authors

  • Qingyu Wu,

    1. Department of Horticulture, Forestry and Recreation Resources, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA
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  • Julie Lin,

    1. Department of Pediatrics and United States Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service, Children’s Nutrition Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA
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  • Jian-Zhong Liu,

    1. Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA
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    • Current address: College of Chemistry and Life Science, Zhejiang Normal University, Zhejiang, China.

  • Xiaofei Wang,

    1. Department of Horticulture, Forestry and Recreation Resources, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA
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  • Wansang Lim,

    1. Department of Horticulture, Forestry and Recreation Resources, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA
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  • Myungmin Oh,

    1. Department of Horticulture, Forestry and Recreation Resources, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA
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    • Current address: Department of Horticultural Science, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, 361-763, South Korea.

  • Jungeun Park,

    1. Department of Horticulture, Forestry and Recreation Resources, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA
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  • C. B. Rajashekar,

    1. Department of Horticulture, Forestry and Recreation Resources, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA
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  • Steven A. Whitham,

    1. Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA
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  • Ning-Hui Cheng,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pediatrics and United States Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service, Children’s Nutrition Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA
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  • Kendal D. Hirschi,

    1. Department of Pediatrics and United States Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service, Children’s Nutrition Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA
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  • Sunghun Park

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Horticulture, Forestry and Recreation Resources, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA
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(Tel +1 785 532 4412; email shpark@ksu.edu and Tel +1 713 798 9326; e-mail ncheng@bcm.tmc.edu)

Summary

While various signalling networks regulate plant responses to heat stress, the mechanisms regulating and unifying these diverse biological processes are largely unknown. Our previous studies indicate that the Arabidopsis monothiol glutaredoxin, AtGRXS17, is crucial for temperature-dependent postembryonic growth in Arabidopsis. In the present study, we further demonstrate that AtGRXS17 has conserved functions in anti-oxidative stress and thermotolerance in both yeast and plants. In yeast, AtGRXS17 co-localized with yeast ScGrx3 in the nucleus and suppressed the sensitivity of yeast grx3grx4 double-mutant cells to oxidative stress and heat shock. In plants, GFP-AtGRXS17 fusion proteins initially localized in the cytoplasm and the nuclear envelope but migrated to the nucleus during heat stress. Ectopic expression of AtGRXS17 in tomato plants minimized photo-oxidation of chlorophyll and reduced oxidative damage of cell membrane systems under heat stress. This enhanced thermotolerance correlated with increased catalase (CAT) enzyme activity and reduced H2O2 accumulation in AtGRXS17-expressing tomatoes. Furthermore, during heat stress, expression of the heat shock transcription factor (HSF) and heat shock protein (HSP) genes was up-regulated in AtGRXS17-expressing transgenic plants compared with wild-type controls. Thus, these findings suggest a specific protective role of a redox protein against temperature stress and provide a genetic engineering strategy to improve crop thermotolerance.

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