Hao Ma

Nanjing Agricultural University, Nan-ching, Jiangsu Sheng, China

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Publications (30)57.44 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Key message: CarNAC4 is a typical stress-responsive NAC transcription factor and enhances drought and salt stress tolerances in transgenic Arabidopsis. Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is relatively vulnerable to abiotic stress conditions, but the tolerance mechanisms for such stresses in chickpea are largely unknown. To identify stress-related factors in chickpea, we previously constructed a cDNA library of chickpea leaves exposed to drought stress conditions. A cDNA encoding a putative NAC transcription factor (CarNAC4) was identified as a putative stress-responsive gene. Our study indicated that the transcript levels of CarNAC4 were enhanced in response to several abiotic stresses and phytohormones. Promoter analysis demonstrated that multiple stress-related cis-acting elements exist in promoter region of CarNAC4. CarNAC4 is localized in the nucleus and binds to the DNA sequence containing CGT[G/A], while the C-terminal region of CarNAC4 contains a transcriptional activation domain. Over-expression of CarNAC4 in Arabidopsis plants improved tolerance to drought and salt stresses. Transgenic plants exhibited greater reduced rates of water loss and more proline accumulation than Col-0 plants under drought stress and less MDA contents than Col-0 plants under salt stress. In addition, over-expression of CarNAC4 enhanced the expression of stress-responsive genes such as RD29A, ERD10, COR15A, COR47, KIN1 and DREB2A. These results indicated that CarNAC4 functions as a transcription factor involved in the regulation of drought and salt stress response.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Plant Cell Reports
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    ABSTRACT: The developing seed of soybean is susceptible to high temperature and humidity stress in the field, resulting in pre-harvest seed deterioration. Some soybean cultivars are found to be resistant to the deterioration. However, the resistance mechanism is not yet understood at molecular level. To understand the resistance mechanism, the extracted proteins from the developing seed (R7 period) of a resistant soybean cultivar Xiangdou No. 3 under HTH stress were analyzed by two dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE). The abundance of 45 protein spots were found to be significantly changed, and they were further analyzed by MALDI-TOF MS. Based on the majority of these identified proteins, together with the metabolomics and physiological and biochemical data, a potential resistance mechanism was proposed, which involved in G protein-mediated and calcium-dependent signaling pathways, as well as ROS, NO, ethylene, and auxin signaling pathways; to increase resistance, the stressed developing seed enhanced its cell ultrastructure stability, ROS scavenging, photorespiratory rate, ammonium recycling, protein folding and assembly and secondary metabolite biosynthesis, whereas reduced its energy depletion. In addition, combined with our previous comparative proteomics analysis with a pre-harvest seed deterioration sensitive soybean cv. Ningzhen No. 1, the similarities and differences in the HTH stress-responsive metabolic pathways and cellular processes in the developing seeds between the two soybean cultivars were discussed. Pre-harvest seed deterioration resistant and sensitive soybean cultivars were found to adopt some different metabolic pathways and cellular processes to response to HTH stress. Xiangdou No. 3 possessed more stable cell ultrastructure, lower energy depletion, more enhanced protein folding and assembly and higher protein and oil concentration in its developing seed under HTH stress. All these differences might be the major reasons why Xiangdou No. 3 is more resistant to pre-harvest seed deterioration than Ningzhen No. 1. Such a result allows us to further understand how soybean developing seed responds to HTH stress at protein level and help us in breeding of resistant soybean cultivars.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Current Proteomics
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    ABSTRACT: Environmental stresses such as drought, salinity, and cold are major factors that significantly limit agricultural productivity. NAC is a plant-specific transcription factor family, which plays essential roles in response to various abiotic stresses. We have identified a novel NAC gene CarNAC5 from chickpea in a previous study, which was induced by drought stress. In the present study, the promoter region of CarNAC5 was isolated. In silico analysis indicated that many basic cis-acting elements, which respond to environmental stresses and plant hormones, were harbored in CarNAC5 promoter region. EMSA and Yeast hybrid assays revealed that CarNAC5 could bind to the core DNA sequence CGT[G/A]. Overexpression of CarNAC5 enhanced drought tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis plants, which was simultaneously demonstrated by the enhanced expression of abiotic stress-responsive genes and changes of several physiological indices. Our results indicated that CarNAC5 has potential for utilization in transgenic breeding to improve abiotic stress tolerances in crops.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Plant Growth Regulation
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    ABSTRACT: Key message: GmSBH1 involves in response to high temperature and humidity stress. Homeobox transcription factors are key switches that control plant development processes. Glycine max H1 Sbh1 (GmSBH1) was the first homeobox gene isolated from soybean. In the present study, the full ORF of GmSBH1 was isolated, and the encoded protein was found to be a typical class I KNOX homeobox transcription factor. Subcellular localization and transcriptional activation assays showed that GmSBH1 is a nuclear protein and possesses transcriptional activation activity in the homeodomain. The KNOX1 domain was found to play a clear role in suppressing the transcriptional activation activity of GmSBH1. GmSBH1 showed different expression levels among different soybean tissues and was involved in response to high temperature and humidity (HTH) stress in developing soybean seeds. The overexpression of GmSBH1 in Arabidopsis altered leaf and stoma phenotypes and enhanced seed tolerance to HTH stress. Overall, our results indicated that GmSBH1 is involved in growth, development, and enhances tolerance to pre-harvest seed deterioration caused by HTH stress in soybean.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Plant Cell Reports
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    ABSTRACT: Heat shock transcription factor (HSF) plays an essential role on the increased tolerance against heat stress by regulating the expression of heat-responsive genes. In this study, a HSF gene, CarHSFB2, was isolated and characterized in chickpea. CarHSFB2 was a nuclear protein with a predicted polypeptide of 267 amino acids and encoded by a single/low copy genes. Phylogenetic analysis showed that CarHSFB2 belonged to the class B HSFs. It had little or no any transcription activation activity due to lack of aromatic, hydrophobic, and acidic amino acid (AHA) motifs. CarHSFB2 showed different expression patterns among different developmental processes (leaf senescence, developing seed, and embryo of germinating seed). It was induced by the stress of heat, salt, wound and drought, and the treatment of H2O2, IAA, and GA3, respectively, while inhibited by 6-BA. However, the other stress and chemical treatments (cold, ABA, MeJA, Et, and SA) had no obvious effect on its expression. Overexpression of CarHSFB2 in Arabidopsis seedlings showed the increased tolerance to drought and heat stress. Additionally, stress-responsive genes, RD22, RD26, and RD29A, showed significantly higher expression levels in transgenic Arabidopsis seedlings than in the wild type (WT) under drought stress, whereas HsfA2, HsfB2a, and HsfA7a in transgenic Arabidopsis seedlings were markedly accumulated in transcript level than in the WT under heat stress. All these results indicate that CarHSFB2, a class B HSF, positively functions in different developmental processes and various stress responses, especially in positive response to heat and drought stresses, in chickpea.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Plant Molecular Biology Reporter
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    ABSTRACT: Jute (Corchorus capsularis & olitorius L.) is mostly grown in Southeast Asian countries and has been recently suggested as a promising candidate for planting in wetland and saline soils in China. To effectively breed more salt-tolerant jute cultivars, it is necessary to understand its salt stress-responsive mechanism at molecular level. Morphological, physiological and proteomic analyses were performed on seedlings of two jute genotypes exposed to 50, 100 and 150 mM NaCl, respectively, for four days. Our results indicated that genotype 9511, with lower degree of average index of salt harm (AISH) in leaf, less fallen leaf number/ten plants and higher root proline (Pro) content, was more salt tolerant than genotype Mengyuan. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) showed that expressions of 44 protein spots were significantly changed in the seedling roots of the two genotypes in response to salt stress. Thirty-nine (39) differentially expressed proteins were identified by MALDI-TOF-TOF MS, and classified into nine groups. Based on most of the 39 identified saltresponsive proteins, a salt stress-responsive protein network in jute seedling roots was proposed. After the persistent (for 4 d) salt stress, jute seedling would adapt to salt stress through altering signal transduction, accelerating ROS scavenging, impairing energy metabolism, enhancing nucleotide metabolism, lipid metabolism and cell wall metabolism, as well as altering cytoskeleton in roots. NaCl-responsive protein data will provide insights into salt stress responses and for further dissection of salt tolerance mechanisms in jute.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Pakistan Journal of Botany
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    ABSTRACT: Thermo-sensitive genic male sterile (TGMS) rice line has made great economical contributions in rice production. However, the fertility of TGMS rice line during hybrid seed production is frequently influenced by low temperature, thus leading to its fertility/sterility alteration and hybrid seed production failure. To understand the mechanism of fertility alternation under low temperature inducement, the extracted proteins from young panicles of two TGMS rice lines at the fertility alternation sensitivity stage were analyzed by 2-DE. 83 protein spots were found to be significantly changed in abundance, and identified by MALDI-TOF/TOF MS. The identified proteins were involved in 16 metabolic pathways and cellular processes. The young panicles of TGMS rice line Zhu 1S possessed the lower ROS-scavenging, IAA level, soluble protein and sugar contents as well as the faster anther wall disintegration than those of TGMS rice line Zhun S. All these major differences might result in that the former is more stable in fertility than the latter. Based on the majority of the 83 identified proteins, together with microstructural, physiological and biochemical results, a possible fertile alteration mechanism in the young panicles of TGMS rice line under low temperature inducement was proposed. Such a result will help us in breeding of TGMS rice lines and production of hybrid seed.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Proteomics
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    ABSTRACT: High temperature and humidity stress during seed growth and development of spring soybean can result in seed deterioration in South China. We isolated two genes (GmSBP and GmSBPL) encoding putative SBP proteins from soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) to study their biological functions and response to abiotic stress,. The two SBP proteins are hydrophilic and incomplete membrane ones. Real-time quantitative (RT-PCR) analysis reveals that the expression of the two genes in the developing seeds of the seed deterioration resistant cultivar Xiangdou No. 3 and sensitive cultivar Ningzhen No. 1 was significantly affected by high temperature and humidity treatment. Meanwhile, the levels of sucrose and soluble sugar in the developing seeds of both cultivars were also affected under high temperature and humidity stress. During seed growth and development, the expression of the two genes as well as the levels of sucrose and soluble sugar reached the highest at 30 days after flower. GmSBP2 and GmSBPL were found to be differentially expressed in different soybean tissues. Sub-cellular localization indicated that two genes were located in cytoplasm and cell membrane. Our results indicate that GmSBP2 and GmSBPL might be involved in the response to abiotic stress, which will enrich our understanding of pre-harvest seed deterioration and resistance in soybean from one side.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Sheng wu gong cheng xue bao = Chinese journal of biotechnology
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    ABSTRACT: Cold stress adversely affects the growth and development of seedling of spring soybean. Revealing responses in seedling to cold stress at proteomic level will help us to breed cold-tolerant spring soybean cultivars. In this study, to understand the responses, a proteomic analysis on the leaves of seedlings of one cold-tolerant soybean cultivar and one cold-sensitive soybean cultivar at 5 °C for different times (12 and 24 h) was performed, with some proteomic results being further validated by physiological and biochemical analysis. Our results showed that 57 protein spots were found to be significantly changed in abundance and identified by MALDI-TOF/TOF MS. All the identified proteins were found to be involved in 13 metabolic pathways and cellular processes, including photosynthesis, protein folding and assembly, cell rescue and defense, cytoskeletal proteins, transcription and translation regulation, amino acid and nitrogen metabolism, protein degradation, storage proteins, signal transduction, carbohydrate metabolism, lipid metabolism, energy metabolism, and unknown. Based on the majority of the identified cold-responsive proteins, the effect of cold stress on seedling leaves of the two spring soybean cultivars was discussed. The reason that soybean cv. Guliqing is more cold-tolerant than soybean cv. Nannong 513 was due to its more protein, lipid and polyamine biosynthesis, more effective sulfur-containing metabolite recycling, and higher photosynthetic rate, as well as less ROS production and lower protein proteolysis and energy depletion under cold stress. Such a result will provide more insights into cold stress responses and for further dissection of cold tolerance mechanisms in spring soybean.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Molecular Biology Reports
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    ABSTRACT: Salinity stress is one of the major abiotic stresses that limit agricultural yield. To understand salt-responsive protein networks in soybean seedling, the extracted proteins from seedling roots of two different genotypes (Lee 68 and Jackson) were analyzed under salt stress by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Sixty-eight differentially expressed proteins were detected and identified. The identified proteins were involved in 13 metabolic pathways and cellular processes. Proteins correlated to brassinosteroid and gilbberellin signalings were significantly increased only in the genotype Lee 68 under salt stress; abscisic acid content was positively correlated with this genotype; proteins that can be correlated to Ca2+ signaling were more strongly enhanced by salt stress in the seedling roots of genotype Lee 68 than in those of genotype Jackson; moreover, genotype Lee 68 had stronger capability of reactive oxygen species scavenging and cell K+/Na+ homeostasis maintaining in seedling roots than genotype Jackson under salt stress. Since the genotype Lee 68 has been described in literature as being tolerant and Jackson as sensitive, we hypothesize that these major differences in the genotype Lee 68 might contribute to salt tolerance. Combined with our previous comparative proteomics analysis on seedling leaves, the similarities and differences between the salt-responsive protein networks found in the seedling leaves and roots of both the genotypes were discussed. Such a result will be helpful in breeding of salt-tolerant soybean cultivars.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · EuPA Open Proteomics
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    ABSTRACT: A pot experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of high temperature and humidity stress [(40 +/- 2) degrees C/(30 +/- 2) degrees C, RH (95 +/- 5)%/(70 +/- 5)%, 10 h/14 h (day/night)] at the physiological maturity stage of two spring soybean cultivars (Xiangdou No. 3 and Ningzhen No. 1) on seed vigor indices, main nutritional components and coat anatomical structure. High temperature and humidity stress were found to cause the decrease of seed viability, germination potential, and germination percentage as well as the dehydrogenase and acid phosphatase activities, but increased the seed cell membrane permeability as well as H+, soluble sugar and leucine levels in the seed soaking liquid of each cultivar. Moreover, the stress led to irregular changes of seed oil and protein contents and alteration of anatomical structure of episperm and hilum in the two cultivars. A shortterm stress (less than 5 h) had no significant impact on seed vigor, but a long-term one (more than 48 h) caused rapid decrease of seed vigor indices. Xiangdou No. 3 showed less decreases in seed germination potential and enzyme activities, and less increase in extravasation content in the seed soaking liquid, had compact seed coat and intact hilum, suggesting it was more resistant to high temperature and humidity stress.
    No preview · Article · May 2014 · Ying yong sheng tai xue bao = The journal of applied ecology / Zhongguo sheng tai xue xue hui, Zhongguo ke xue yuan Shenyang ying yong sheng tai yan jiu suo zhu ban
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    ABSTRACT: As a large family of regulatory proteins, NAC (for NAM, ATAF1,2 and CUC2) proteins play important roles in various plant developmental processes and response to environmental stresses. Several studies have investigated the role of NAC transcription factors during these processes. In the present study, a gene encoding a NAC protein from chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), CarNAC2, which encodes a putative protein of 191 amino acids, was isolated and characterized. Analyses of mRNA levels revealed that the expression of CarNAC2 was up-regulated by drought and ABA (abscisic acid). CarNAC2::GFP fusion protein was localized in the nucleus. Yeast one-hybrid assay showed that CarNAC2 possesses transcriptional activation activity which was located in the C-terminal region. Overexpression of CarNAC2 enhanced drought tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis plants. In addition, transgenic plant overexpressing CarNAC2 displayed lower germination vigor and later blooming than wild type plants. Overall, our findings suggest that CarNAC2 protein as a transcriptional activator is involved in response to drought stress and various developmental processes in chickpea.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2014 · Journal of Plant Biology

  • No preview · Article · Jan 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Haloxylon ammodendron (Chenopodiaceae) is a dominant shrubby or sub-arboreal perennial. During the torrid and arid summer, annual assimilative branches of H. ammodendron are often observed slow growing (even ceasing growth) and gradually turning in color from green to brilliant yellow, even with some drying up and falling off. The pivotal factor causing this phenomenon is still unknown. Here we report that it is the high desert surface layer (0–5 cm) temperature (DSLT) that causes H. ammodendron plants to display this phenomenon. Damage is caused by high DSLT around the stem basal part of H. ammodendron plants, with stress threshold value being 55 °C. Based on the color changes of the annual assimilative branches, damage responses of H. ammodendron could be broadly divided into three degrees of mild, moderate and high damage that visually can be detected. DSLT stress also destroys the redox homeostasis in H. ammodendron plants, bringing about physiological damages. Since high DSLT is one of the inherent factors of desert habitat conditions, our results suggest that it will have importance to investigate the direct effect of high DSLT stress also on other desert plants.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2012 · Flora - Morphology Distribution Functional Ecology of Plants
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    ABSTRACT: Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is an important pulse crop grown mainly in the arid and semi-arid regions of the world. Due to its taxonomic proximity with the model legume Medicago truncatula and its ability to grow in arid soil, chickpea has its unique advantage to understand how plant responds to drought stress. In this study, an oligonucleotide microarray was used for analyzing the transcriptomic profiles of unigenes in leaf and root of chickpea seedling under drought stress, respectively. Microarray data showed that 4,815 differentially expressed unigenes were either ≥ 2-fold up- or ≤ 0.5-fold down-regulated in at least one of the five time points during drought stress. 2,623 and 3,969 unigenes were time-dependent differentially expressed in root and leaf, respectively. 110 pathways in two tissues were found to respond to drought stress. Compared to control, 88 and 52 unigenes were expressed only in drought-stressed root and leaf, respectively, while nine unigenes were expressed in both the tissues. 1,922 function-unknown unigenes were found to be remarkably regulated by drought stress. The expression profiles of these time-dependent differentially expressed unigenes were useful in furthering our knowledge of molecular mechanism of plant in response to drought stress.
    Full-text · Article · May 2012 · Molecular Biology Reports
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    ABSTRACT: High temperature and humidity (HTH) stress during soybean seed development and maturity in the field easily leads seed to pre-harvest deterioration. However, how proteins and their involved pathways in developing soybean seed systematically cause deterioration is still not largely understood. To reveal it, we compared the proteome composition of developing seed (R(7) period) of a pre-harvest seed deterioration sensitive soybean cultivar at different HTH stress time points (24, 96 and 168 h) with their corresponding controls by 2-DE. 42 protein spots were found to be differentially expressed and successfully identified by MALDI-TOF MS to match 31 diverse protein species. These proteins were involved in 13 cellular responses and metabolic processes including carbohydrate metabolism, signal transduction, protein biosynthesis, photosynthesis, protein folding and assembly, energy pathway, cell rescue and defense, cell cycle, nitrogen metabolism, lipid metabolism, amino acid metabolism, transcription regulation, and secondary metabolite biosynthesis. Based on these proteins' functions and involved pathways, together with ultrastructural, physical and chemical, and metabolomic data, a pre-harvest seed deterioration mechanism was proposed. Such a mechanism allows us to further understand the possible management strategy of cellular activities occurring in the HTH-stressed developing seeds and provides new insights into the HTH stress responses in crop developing seeds.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2012 · Journal of proteomics
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    ABSTRACT: Salinity is one of the major environmental constraints limiting yield of crop plants in many semi-arid and arid regions around the world. To understand responses in soybean seedling to salt stress at proteomic level, the extracted proteins from seedling leaves of salt-sensitive genotype Jackson and salt-tolerant genotype Lee 68 under 150 mM NaCl stress for 1, 12, 72 and 144 h, respectively, were analyzed by 2-DE. Approximately 800 protein spots were detected on 2-DE gels. Among them, 91 were found to be differently expressed, with 78 being successfully identified by MALDI-TOF-TOF. The identified proteins were involved in 14 metabolic pathways and cellular processes. Based on most of the 78 salt-responsive proteins, a salt stress-responsive protein network was proposed. This network consisted of several functional components, including balancing between ROS production and scavenging, accelerated proteolysis and reduced biosynthesis of proteins, impaired photosynthesis, abundant energy supply and enhanced biosynthesis of ethylene. Salt-tolerant genotype Lee 68 possessed the ability of higher ROS scavenging, more abundant energy supply and ethylene production, and stronger photosynthesis than salt-sensitive genotype Jackson under salt stress, which may be the major reasons why it is more salt-tolerant than Jackson.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Journal of proteomics
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    ABSTRACT: To obtain salt tolerant genotypes, salt tolerance of 10 jute genotypes of different origins was evaluated by relative salt harm rate at germination stage and by index of salt harm at seedling stage, respectively. The results indicated that salt tolerance of germination stage of jute was consistent with that of seedling stage, with a markedly significant (P < 0.01) correlation of 0.8432 (n =10). Two high salt tolerant genotypes (Huang No.1 and 9511) and two salt sensitive genotypes (Mengyuan and 07-21) were screened out by these methods. Further activity analysis of POD, SOD and CAT and determination of MDA content at seedling stage validated that genotypes Huang No.1 and 9511 were more salt tolerant than genotypes Mengyuan and 07-21. Our results indicated that the combination of relative salt harm rate at germination stage and index of salt harm at seedling stage can be used to evaluate salt tolerance of jute genotypes.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · Pakistan Journal of Botany
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    ABSTRACT: Late-embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins have been reported to be closely correlated with the acquisition of desiccation tolerance during seed development and response of plant to drought, salinity, and freezing, etc. In this study, a LEA gene, CarLEA4 (GenBank accession no. GU247511), was isolated from chickpea based on a cDNA library constructed with chickpea seedling leaves treated by polyethylene glycol (PEG). CarLEA4 contained two exons and one intron within genomic DNA sequence and encoded a putative polypeptide of 152 amino acids. CarLEA4 had a conserved pfam domain, and showed high similarity to the group 4 LEA proteins in secondary structure. It was localized in the nucleus. The transcripts of CarLEA4 were detected in many chickpea organs including seedling leaves, stems, roots, flowers, young pods, and young seeds. CarLEA4 was inhibited by leaf age and showed expression changes in expression during seed development, pod development and germination. Furthermore, the expression of CarLEA4 was strongly induced by drought, salt, heat, cold, ABA, IAA, GA(3) and MeJA. Our results suggest that CarLEA4 encodes a protein of LEA group 4 and may be involved in various plant developmental processes and abiotic stress responses.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2011 · Molecular Biology Reports
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    ABSTRACT: F-box protein family has been found to play important roles in plant development and abiotic stress responses via the ubiquitin pathway. In this study, an F-box gene CarF-box1 (for Cicer arietinum F-box gene 1, Genbank accession no. GU247510) was isolated based on a cDNA library constructed with chickpea seedling leaves treated by polyethylene glycol. CarF-box1 encoded a putative protein with 345 amino acids and contained no intron within genomic DNA sequence. CarF-box1 is a KFB-type F-box protein, having a conserved F-box domain in the N-terminus and a Kelch repeat domain in the C-terminus. CarF-box1 was localized in the nucleus. CarF-box1 exhibited organ-specific expression and showed different expression patterns during seed development and germination processes, especially strongly expressed in the blooming flowers. In the leaves, CarF-box1 could be significantly induced by drought stress and slightly induced by IAA treatment, while in the roots, CarF-box1 could be strongly induced by drought, salinity and methyl jasmonate stresses. Our results suggest that CarF-box1 encodes an F-box protein and may be involved in various plant developmental processes and abiotic stress responses.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2011 · Molecular Biology Reports