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Cell Res. 2008 Oct;18(10):1047-60. doi: 10.1038/cr.2008.280.

Soybean GmMYB76, GmMYB92, and GmMYB177 genes confer stress tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis plants.

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Plant Gene Research Center, National Key Lab of Plant Genomics, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.


MYB-type transcription factors contain the conserved MYB DNA-binding domain of approximately 50 amino acids and are involved in the regulation of many aspects of plant growth, development, metabolism and stress responses. From soybean plants, we identified 156 GmMYB genes using our previously obtained 206 MYB unigenes, and 48 were found to have full-length open-reading frames. Expressions of all these identified genes were examined, and we found that expressions of 43 genes were changed upon treatment with ABA, salt, drought and/or cold stress. Three GmMYB genes, GmMYB76, GmMYB92 and GmMYB177, were chosen for further analysis. Using the yeast assay system, GmMYB76 and GmMYB92 were found to have transactivation activity and can form homodimers. GmMYB177 did not appear to have transactivation activity but can form heterodimers with GmMYB76. Yeast one-hybrid assay revealed that all the three GmMYBs could bind to cis-elements TAT AAC GGT TTT TT and CCG GAA AAA AGG AT, but with different affinity, and GmMYB92 could also bind to TCT CAC CTA CC. The transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing GmMYB76 or GmMYB177 showed better performance than the GmMYB92-transgenic plants in salt and freezing tolerance. However, these transgenic plants exhibited reduced sensitivity to ABA treatment at germination stage in comparison with the wild-type plants. The three GmMYB genes differentially affected a subset of stress-responsive genes in addition to their regulation of a common subset of stress-responsive genes. These results indicate that the three GmMYB genes may play differential roles in stress tolerance, possibly through regulation of stress-responsive genes.

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