Cloning and overexpression of the ascorbate peroxidase gene from the yam (Dioscorea alata) enhances chilling and flood tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis

  • Zhihua Chen
  • Hsueh-Han Lu
  • Shumei Hua
  • Kuan-Hung Lin
  • Ningdan Chen
  • Yangwen Zhang
  • Ziyi You
  • Yun-Wei Kuo
  • Shi-Peng ChenEmail author
Regular Paper


Minghuai 1 (MH1) is a yam (Dioscorea alata) cultivar with high tolerance to flooding but sensitivity to chilling. MH1 responded differently to chilling and flooding according to various physiological parameters and antioxidant enzymes. Flooding led to an increase in ascorbate peroxidase (APX) activity in both roots and leaves, while chilling did not affect APX activity. The full length DaAPX ORF sequence from MH1 (750 bp) was then cloned. Phylogenetic analysis showed that plant cytosolic APXs into four major clusters and DaAPX was closely related to Oncidium. The DaAPX gene driven by a 35S promoter was transferred into Arabidopsis. The gene expression and enzyme activity of APX in the DaAPX transgenic lines 1–3 were significantly higher than in wild type (WT) plants. Compared to WT plants, seedling growth characteristics were significantly better in all transgenic lines under chilling, flooding, and oxidative stresses, indicating that the overexpression of DaAPX in Arabidopsis enhanced tolerance to several abiotic stresses. MH1 plants supplied with H2O2 presented an increase in the activity of APX leading to enhanced tolerance to chilling. Functional characterization of the APX gene should improve our understanding of the chilling- and flood-response mechanism in the yam.


Ascorbate peroxidase Chilling tolerance Dioscorea alata Flood tolerance Transgenic Arabidopsis 



This work was supported by the Science and Technology Department of Fujian Province, China (Grant 2017S0034 and 2018N0069). We really appreciate to Institute of Biotechnology, Sanming Academy of Agricultural Sciences for the facility supporting.

Author contributions

ZC, H-HL, and S-PC contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed by ZC, H-HL, SH, K-HL, NC, YZ, ZY, and Y-WK. The first draft of the manuscript was written by K-HL and S-PC and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10265_2019_1136_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (972 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 971 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhihua Chen
    • 1
  • Hsueh-Han Lu
    • 2
  • Shumei Hua
    • 1
  • Kuan-Hung Lin
    • 3
  • Ningdan Chen
    • 1
  • Yangwen Zhang
    • 1
  • Ziyi You
    • 1
  • Yun-Wei Kuo
    • 1
  • Shi-Peng Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Dryland CropsSanming Academy of Agricultural SciencesSanmingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Plant BiologyNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of Horticulture and BiotechnologyChinese Culture UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

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