Related to ABA‐Insensitive3(ABI3)/Viviparous1 and AtABI5 transcription factor coexpression in cotton enhances drought stress adaptation
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Drought tolerance is an important trait being pursued by the agbiotech industry. Abscisic acid (ABA) is a stress hormone that mediates a multitude of processes in growth and development, water use efficiency (WUE) and gene expression during seed development and in response to environmental stresses. Arabidopsis B3-domain transcription factor Related to ABA-Insensitive3 (ABI3)/Viviparous1 (namely AtRAV2) and basic leucine zipper (bZIPs) AtABI5 or AtABF3 transactivated ABA-inducible promoter:GUS reporter expression in a maize mesophyll protoplast transient assay and showed synergies in reporter transactivation when coexpressed. Transgenic cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) expressing AtRAV1/2 and/or AtABI5 showed resistance to imposed drought stress under field and greenhouse conditions and exhibited improved photosynthesis and WUEs associated with absorption through larger root system and greater leaf area. We observed synergy for root biomass accumulation in the greenhouse, intrinsic WUE in the field and drought tolerance in stacked AtRAV and AtABI5 double-transgenic cotton. We assessed AtABI5 and AtRAV1/2 involvement in drought stress adaptations through reactive oxygen species scavenging and osmotic adjustment by marker gene expression in cotton. Deficit irrigation-grown AtRAV1/2 and AtABI5 transgenics had 'less-stressed' molecular and physiological phenotypes under drought, likely due to improved photoassimilation and root and shoot sink strengths and enhanced expression of endogenous GhRAV and genes for antioxidant and osmolyte biosynthesis. Overexpression of bZIP and RAV TFs could impact sustainable cotton agriculture and potentially other crops under limited irrigation conditions.
author list (cited authors)
Mittal, A., Gampala, S., Ritchie, G. L., Payton, P., Burke, J. J., & Rock, C. D.