Gene encoding vesicle-associated membrane protein-associated protein from Triticum aestivum (TaVAP) confers tolerance to drought stress
Abiotic stresses like drought, salinity, high and low temperature, and submergence are major factors that limit the crop productivity. Hence, identification of genes associated with stress response in crops is a prerequisite for improving their tolerance to adverse environmental conditions. In an earlier study, we had identified a drought-inducible gene, vesicle-associated membrane protein-associated protein (TaVAP), in developing grains of wheat. In this study, we demonstrate that TaVAP is able to complement yeast and Arabidopsis mutants, which are impaired in their respective orthologs, signifying functional conservation. Constitutive expression of TaVAP in Arabidopsis imparted tolerance to water stress conditions without any apparent yield penalty. Enhanced tolerance to water stress was associated with maintenance of higher relative water content, photosynthetic efficiency, and antioxidant activities. Compared to wild type, the TaVAP-overexpressing plants showed enhanced lateral root proliferation that was attributed to higher endogenous levels of IAA. These studies are the first to demonstrate that TaVAP plays a critical role in growth and development in plants, and is a potential candidate for improving the abiotic stress tolerance in crop plants.
KeywordsAbiotic stress TaVAP Triticum aestivum Lateral roots Auxin
This work was financially supported by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India. The infrastructural support provided by the Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi, and the University Grants Commission, New Delhi, to both the institutions (GNDU and UDSC) is gratefully acknowledged.
BS carried out all the experiments and drafted the manuscript. PS, JPK, and PK together designed the study and helped to draft 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.
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