Crop Biotech Update

Gshdz4 Gene from Wild Soybean Regulates Bicarbonate Tolerance in Arabidopsis

August 31, 2016

In soybean, the HD-Zip (Homeodomain-leucine Zipper) transcription factor family plays important roles in abiotic stress responses. However, their roles in response to bicarbonate stress are largely unknown. The research team led by Lei Cao of the Northeast Agricultural University in China, studied this gene family in wild soybean (Glycine soja), which is tolerant to saline-alkaline soils.

The team noticed that the expression of the HD-Zip gene, Gshdz4, was induced by alkaline stress. Overexpression of Gshdz4 in Arabidopsis resulted in enhanced tolerance to bicarbonates during plant growth and development. The transcript levels of stress-related genes were also increased with greater extent in the transgenic plants. However, the growth of transgenic and WT plants were not significantly different under high pH conditions. Gshdz4-overexpressing lines were also found to be sensitive to osmotic stress at seed germination.

The results revealed the roles of Gshdz4 in conferring bicarbonate tolerance. This study increases the knowledge of functions of HD-Zip family and provides clues for the mechanisms of tolerance of wild soybean to saline-alkaline stress.

For more information on this study, read the article in BMC Plant Biology.