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Abstract

Asr (abscisic acid, stress, ripening induced) genes are typically upregulated by a wide range of factors, including drought, cold, salt, abscisic acid (ABA) and injury; in addition to plant responses to developmental and environmental signals. We isolated an Asr gene, MpAsr, from a suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) cDNA library of cold induced plantain (Musa paradisiaca) leaves. MpAsr expression was upregulated in Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense infected plantain leaves, peels and roots, suggesting that MpAsr plays a role in plantain pathogen response. In addition, a 581-bp putative promoter region of MpAsr was isolated via genome walking and cis-elements involved in abiotic stress and pathogen-related responses were detected in this same region. Furthermore, the MpAsr promoter demonstrated positive activity and inducibility in tobacco under F. oxysporum f. sp. cubense infection and ABA, cold, dehydration and high salt concentration treatments. Interestingly, transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing MpAsr exhibited higher drought tolerance, but showed no significant decreased sensitivity to F. oxysporum f. sp. cubense. These results suggest that MpAsr might be involved in plant responses to both abiotic stress and pathogen attack.