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Plant J. 2001 Sep;27(5):407-15.

At-HSP17.6A, encoding a small heat-shock protein in Arabidopsis, can enhance osmotolerance upon overexpression.

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Vakgroep Moleculaire Genetica, Departement Plantengenetica, Vlaams Interuniversitair Instituut voor Biotechnologie, Universiteit Gent, K.L. Ledeganckstraat 35, B-9000 Gent, Belgium.


Owing to their sessile lifestyle, it is crucial for plants to acquire stress tolerance. The function of heat-shock proteins, including small heat-shock proteins (smHSPs), in stress tolerance is not fully explored. To gain further knowledge about the smHSPs, the gene that encoded the cytosolic class II smHSP in Arabidopsis thaliana (At-HSP17.6A) was characterized. The At-HSP17.6A expression was induced by heat and osmotic stress, as well as during seed development. Accumulation of At-HSP17.6A proteins could be detected with heat and at a late stage of seed development, but not with osmotic stress, suggesting stress-induced post-transcriptional regulation of At-HSP17.6A expression. Overproduction of At-HSP17.6A could increase salt and drought tolerance in Arabidopsis. The chaperone activity of At-HSP17.6A was demonstrated in vitro.

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