The durum wheat annexin, TdAnn6, improves salt and osmotic stress tolerance in Arabidopsis via modulation of antioxidant machinery

Abstract

TdAnn6 is a gene encoding an annexin protein in durum wheat (Triticum durum). The function of TdAnn6 in plant response to stress is not yet clearly understood. Here, we isolated TdAnn6 and characterized it in genetically modified Arabidopsis thaliana. Expressing TdAnn6 in Arabidopsis coincided with an improvement in stress tolerance at germination and seedling stages. In addition, TdAnn6-expressing seedling antioxidant activities were improved with lower level of malondialdehyde, and enhanced transcript levels of six stress-related genes during salt/osmotic stresses. Under greenhouse conditions, the TdAnn6 plants exhibited increased tolerance to salt or drought stress. To deepen our understanding of TdAnn6 function, we isolated a 1515-bp genomic fragment upstream of its coding sequence, designated as PrTdAnn6. The PrTdAnn6 promoter was fused to the β-glucuronidase reporter gene and transferred to Arabidopsis. By histochemical GUS staining, GUS activity was detected in the roots, leaves, and floral organs, but no activity was detected in the seeds. Furthermore, we noticed a high stimulation of promoter activity when A. thaliana seedlings were exposed to NaCl, mannitol, ABA, GA, and cold conditions. This cross-talk between tissue-specific expression and exogenous stress stimulation may provide additional layers of regulation for salt and osmotic stress responses in crops.

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Acknowledgements

The authors express their gratitude to Dr. Thaura Ghneim-Herrera (Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Icesi, Cali, Colombia) for her critical review of the manuscript.

Funding

This study was supported by a grant from Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Tunisia (Contrat Programme 2019–2022).

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RBS conceived the study conception and design. Experiments, data collection, and data analysis were performed by MH, WBR, RBS, ABH, and FB. The manuscript was written by RBS and WBR. FB supervised this work. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Rania Ben Saad.

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Harbaoui, M., Ben Romdhane, W., Ben Hsouna, A. et al. The durum wheat annexin, TdAnn6, improves salt and osmotic stress tolerance in Arabidopsis via modulation of antioxidant machinery. Protoplasma (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00709-021-01622-4

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Keywords

  • Abiotic stress
  • GUS activity
  • Wheat
  • PrTdAnn6 promoter
  • Water-deficit stress