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Plant Cell Environ. 2013 Aug;36(8):1449-64. doi: 10.1111/pce.12074. Epub 2013 Feb 28.

TaASR1, a transcription factor gene in wheat, confers drought stress tolerance in transgenic tobacco.

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The Genetic Engineering International Cooperation Base of Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, Chinese National Center of Plant Gene Research (Wuhan) HUST Part, Key Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics of Chinese Ministry of Education, College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong University of Science & Technology (HUST), Wuhan, 430074, China.


Abscisic acid (ABA)-, stress-, and ripening-induced (ASR) proteins are reported to be involved in abiotic stresses. However, it is not known whether ASR genes confer drought stress tolerance by utilizing the antioxidant system. In this study, a wheat ASR gene, TaASR1, was cloned and characterized. TaASR1 transcripts increased after treatments with PEG6000, ABA and H(2)O(2). Overexpression of TaASR1 in tobacco resulted in increased drought/osmotic tolerance, which was demonstrated that transgenic lines had lesser malondialdehyde (MDA), ion leakage (IL) and reactive oxygen species (ROS), but higher relative water content (RWC) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activities than wild type (WT) under drought stress. Overexpression of TaASR1 in tobacco also enhanced the expression of ROS-related and stress-responsive genes under osmotic stress. In addition, transgenic lines exhibited improved tolerance to oxidative stress by retaining more effective antioxidant system. Finally, TaASR1 was localized in the cell nucleus and functioned as a transcriptional activator. Taken together, our results showed that TaASR1 functions as a positive factor under drought/osmotic stress, involved in the regulation of ROS homeostasis by activating antioxidant system and transcription of stress-associated genes.


abscisic acid-; and ripening-induced (ASR) protein; antioxidant system; reactive oxygen species (ROS); stress-; stress-responsive genes

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