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Expression of AtGA2ox1 enhances drought tolerance in maize

  • Ziqi Chen
  • Yang Liu
  • Yuejia Yin
  • Qing Liu
  • Nan Li
  • Xia Li
  • Wenzhu He
  • Dongyun Hao
  • Xiangguo LiuEmail author
  • Changhong GuoEmail author
Original Paper
  • 23 Downloads

Abstract

Drought is a major limiting factor to maize (Zea mays L.) yield. Plant hormones, including gibberellins (GAs), play important roles in plant response to drought stress. In previous studies, significant reductions in GAs levels have been reported under drought stress. In maize, GA content is correlated to drought tolerance, but the molecular mechanism remains unclear. In the present study, AtG2ox1, a member of the GA2ox family with a clear function, was used to create GA deficiency maize. The transgenic maize had a higher chlorophyll content and faster growth rate, when compared to the wild type (WT) plants, under drought stress in a greenhouse. The physiological and biochemical test results revealed that transgenic maize had decreased levels of GA1 and malondialdehyde (MDA), and increased content of proline and soluble sugars, and antioxidant enzyme activities, when compared to the WT. Furthermore, the transcriptomic analysis revealed that some differentially expressed genes involved in transcription factors correlated to drought stress and abiotic stress responses, and that signaling was enriched. All these results reveal the possible molecular mechanism of GA regulation in drought tolerance, in which the overexpression of AtGA2ox1 altered the expression of multiple genes correlated to the internal antioxidant system and maintenance of cell osmotic potential. The present study demonstrates that the overexpression of AtGA2ox1 could control GA content and improve drought tolerance in transgenic maize. Furthermore, this strategy represents a novel approach to address drought tolerance in maize breeding.

Keywords

AtGA2ox1 Gibberellin Drought tolerance Maize 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Program of Jilin Province (CXGC2017ZY026) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31771879).

Author contribution

ZC and YL contributed equally to the study. CG and XL designed the experiments. ZC, YY, YL, QL, NL, WH and DH performed the experiments. ZC and XL analyzed the data. ZC and XL wrote the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest in this work.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ziqi Chen
    • 1
  • Yang Liu
    • 2
  • Yuejia Yin
    • 2
  • Qing Liu
    • 2
  • Nan Li
    • 2
  • Xia Li
    • 3
  • Wenzhu He
    • 4
  • Dongyun Hao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiangguo Liu
    • 2
    Email author
  • Changhong Guo
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Molecular Cytogenetics and Genetic Breeding of Heilongjiang Province, College of Life Science and TechnologyHarbin Normal UniversityHarbinChina
  2. 2.Jilin Provincial Key Laboratory of Agricultural Biotechnology, Agro-Biotechnology InstituteJilin Academy of Agricultural SciencesChangchunChina
  3. 3.Changchun Academy of Agricultural ScienceChangchunChina
  4. 4.Crop Research Institute of Sichuan Academy of Agricultural SciencesChengduChina

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