Journal Article

Analysis of pcC13-62 promoters predicts a link between cis-element variations and desiccation tolerance in Linderniaceae

Valentino Giarola, Niklas Udo Jung, Aishwarya Singh, Pooja Satpathy and Dorothea Bartels

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Volume 69, issue 15, pages 3773-3784
Published in print June 2018 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online May 2018 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI:
Analysis of pcC13-62 promoters predicts a link between cis-element variations and desiccation tolerance in Linderniaceae

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Reproductive structures of plants (e.g. seeds) and vegetative tissues of resurrection plants can tolerate desiccation. Many genes encoding desiccation-related proteins (DRPs) have been identified in the resurrection plant Craterostigma plantagineum, but the function of these genes remains mainly hypothetical. Here, the importance of the DRP gene pcC13-62 for desiccation tolerance is evaluated by analysing its expression in C. plantagineum and in the closely related desiccation-tolerant species Lindernia brevidens and the desiccation-sensitive species Lindernia subracemosa. Quantitative analysis revealed that pcC13-62 transcripts accumulate at a much lower level in desiccation-sensitive species than in desiccation-tolerant species. The study of pcC13-62 promoters from these species demonstrated a correlation between promoter activity and gene expression levels, suggesting transcriptional regulation of gene expression. Comparison of promoter sequences identified a dehydration-responsive element motif in the promoters of tolerant species that is required for dehydration-induced β-glucuronidase (GUS) accumulation. We hypothesize that variations in the regulatory sequences of the pcC13-62 gene occurred to establish pcC13-62 expression in vegetative tissues, which might be required for desiccation tolerance. The pcC13-62 promoters could also be activated by salt stress in Arabidopsis thaliana plants stably transformed with promoter::GUS constructs.

Keywords: Desiccation tolerance; dehydration-responsive element; gene regulation; LEA-like protein; resurrection plants; stress protein

Journal Article.  7495 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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