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Plant Cell Rep. 2011 Nov;30(11):2097-104. doi: 10.1007/s00299-011-1116-9. Epub 2011 Jul 7.

ZmMKK4 regulates osmotic stress through reactive oxygen species scavenging in transgenic tobacco.

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State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, Shandong Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai'an, 271018, Shandong, China.


Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MAPKKs) are important components of MAPK cascades, which are universal signal transduction modules and play important role in regulating both plant development and biotic or abiotic stress responses. In this study, we identified the group C MAPKK gene, ZmMKK4, in maize (Zea mays L.). Overexpression of ZmMKK4 in tobacco enhanced tolerance to osmotic stress by increased proline content and antioxidant enzyme (POD) activities compared with wild-type plants. RT-PCR revealed that one peroxidase (POX) gene, NtPOX1, was higher in ZmMKK4-overexpressing plants than in the wild-type plants. In addition, the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in ZmMKK4-overexpressing plants is much less than that of wild-type plants. These results suggest that ZmMKK4 may be involved in ROS signaling. Taken together, these results indicate that ZmMKK4 is a positive regulator of osmotic stress by regulating scavenging of ROS in plants.

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