Overexpression of atbbd1, arabidopsis bifunctional nuclease, confers drought tolerance by enhancing the expression of regulatory genes in aba-mediated drought stress signaling

A. K.M. Mahmudul Huque, Wonmi So, Minsoo Noh, Min Kyoung You, Jeong Sheop Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Drought is the most serious abiotic stress, which significantly reduces crop productivity. The phytohormone ABA plays a pivotal role in regulating stomatal closing upon drought stress. Here, we characterized the physiological function of AtBBD1, which has bifunctional nuclease ac-tivity, on drought stress. We found that AtBBD1 localized to the nucleus and cytoplasm, and was expressed strongly in trichomes and stomatal guard cells of leaves, based on promoter:GUS con-structs. Expression analyses revealed that AtBBD1 and AtBBD2 are induced early and strongly by ABA and drought, and that AtBBD1 is also strongly responsive to JA. We then compared pheno-types of two AtBBD1-overexpression lines (AtBBD1-OX), single knockout atbbd1, and double knockout atbbd1/atbbd2 plants under drought conditions. We did not observe any phenotypic difference among them under normal growth conditions, while OX lines had greatly enhanced drought toler-ance, lower transpirational water loss, and higher proline content than the WT and KOs. Moreover, by measuring seed germination rate and the stomatal aperture after ABA treatment, we found that AtBBD1-OX and atbbd1 plants showed significantly higher and lower ABA-sensitivity, respectively, than the WT. RNA sequencing analysis of AtBBD1-OX and atbbd1 plants under PEG-induced drought stress showed that overexpression of AtBBD1 enhances the expression of key regulatory genes in the ABA-mediated drought signaling cascade, particularly by inducing genes related to ABA biosynthesis, downstream transcription factors, and other regulatory proteins, conferring At-BBD1-OXs with drought tolerance. Taken together, we suggest that AtBBD1 functions as a novel positive regulator of drought responses by enhancing the expression of ABA-and drought stress-responsive genes as well as by increasing proline content.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2936
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar 2

Keywords

  • ABA response
  • Abiotic stress
  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • AtBBD1
  • Drought tolerance
  • DUF151 domain
  • Stomatal movement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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