• Open Access

Expression of an Arabidopsis molybdenum cofactor sulphurase gene in soybean enhances drought tolerance and increases yield under field conditions

Authors

  • Yajun Li,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China
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    • These two authors contributed equally to this work.
  • Jiachang Zhang,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China
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    • These two authors contributed equally to this work.
  • Juan Zhang,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China
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  • Ling Hao,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China
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  • Jinping Hua,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China
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  • Liusheng Duan,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China
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  • Mingcai Zhang,

    Corresponding author
    • State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China
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  • Zhaohu Li

    1. State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China
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Correspondence (Tel (+8610) 6273 3049; fax (+8610) 6273 2567; email zmc1214@163.com)

Summary

LOS5/ABA3 gene encoding molybdenum cofactor sulphurase is involved in aldehyde oxidase (AO) activity in Arabidopsis, which indirectly regulates ABA biosynthesis and increased stress tolerance. Here, we used a constitutive super promoter to drive LOS5/ABA3 overexpression in soybean (Glycine max L.) to enhance drought tolerance in growth chamber and field conditions. Expression of LOS5/ABA3 was up-regulated by drought stress, which led to increasing AO activity and then a notable increase in ABA accumulation. Transgenic soybean under drought stress had reduced water loss by decreased stomatal aperture size and transpiration rate, which alleviated leaf wilting and maintained higher relative water content. Exposed to drought stress, transgenic soybean exhibited reduced cell membrane damage by reducing electrolyte leakage and production of malondialdehyde and promoting proline accumulation and antioxidant enzyme activities. Also, overexpression of LOS5/ABA3 enhanced expression of stress-up-regulated genes. Furthermore, the seed yield of transgenic plants is at least 21% higher than that of wide-type plants under drought stress conditions in the field. These data suggest that overexpression of LOS5/ABA3 could improve drought tolerance in transgenic soybean via enhanced ABA accumulation, which could activate expression of stress-up-regulated genes and cause a series of physiological and biochemical resistant responses.

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