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The Glycine soja NAC transcription factor GsNAC019 mediates the regulation of plant alkaline tolerance and ABA sensitivity

Journal article
Authors L. Cao
Y. Yu
X. D. Ding
D. Zhu
F. Yang
Liu Beidong
X. L. Sun
X. B. Duan
K. D. Yin
Y. M. Zhu
Published in Plant Molecular Biology
Volume 95
Issue 3
Pages 253-268
ISSN 0167-4412
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Pages 253-268
Language en
Keywords NAC, HD-ZIP, Glycine soja, Arabidopsis, Alkaline stress, abiotic stress responses, gene-expression data, arabidopsis-thaliana, transgenic arabidopsis, brassica-napus, salt tolerance, molecular, characterization, defense responses, low-temperature, cold tolerance
Subject categories Plant Biotechnology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Wild soybean (Glycine soja) has a high tolerance to environmental challenges. It is a model species for dissecting the molecular mechanisms of salt-alkaline stresses. Although many NAC transcription factors play important roles in response to multiple abiotic stresses, such as salt, osmotic and cold, their mode of action in alkaline stress resistance is largely unknown. In our study, we identified a G. soja NAC gene, GsNAC019, which is a homolog of the Arabidopsis AtNAC019 gene. GsNAC019 was highly up-regulated by 50 mM NaHCO3 treatment in the roots of wild soybean. Further investigation showed that a well-characterized transcription factor, Gshdz4 protein, bound the cis-acting element sequences (CAATA/TA), which are located in the promoter of the AtNAC019/GsNAC019 genes. Overexpression of Gshdz4 positively regulated AtNAC019 expression in transgenic Arabidopsis, implying that AtNAC019/GsNAC019 may be the target genes of Gshdz4. GsNAC019 was demonstrated to be a nuclear-localized protein in onion epidermal cells and possessed transactivation activity in yeast cells. Moreover, overexpression of GsNAC019 in Arabidopsis resulted in enhanced tolerance to alkaline stress at the seedling and mature stages, but reduced ABA sensitivity. The closest Arabidopsis homolog mutant plants of Gshdz4, GsNAC019 and GsRD29B containing athb40, atnac019 and atrd29b were sensitive to alkaline stress. Overexpression or the closest Arabidopsis homolog mutant plants of the GsNAC019 gene in Arabidopsis positively or negatively regulated the expression of stress-related genes, such as AHA2, RD29A/B and KIN1. Moreover, this mutation could phenotypically promoted or compromised plant growth under alkaline stress, implying that GsNAC019 may contribute to alkaline stress tolerance via the ABA signal transduction pathway and regulate expression of the downstream stress-related genes.

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