Crop Biotech Update

Cotton Gene GhRaf19 Confers Cold Resistance but Negatively Regulates Drought and Salt Tolerance

August 31, 2016

Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinases (MAPKKKs) function in plant development and stress responses. However, very few MAPKKKs have been functionally identified, especially in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum). A team of Shandong Agricultural University scientists, headed by Haihong Jia, characterized an MAPKKK gene from cotton, GhRaf19.

The expression of GhRaf19 was found to be inhibited by PEG and NaCl, and induced by cold conditions and by hydrogen peroxide. Silencing GhRaf19 via virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) enhanced tolerance to drought and salt stress, and reduced the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS).

Nicotiana benthamiana plants overexpressing-GhRaf19 were also developed for further tests. The transgenics exhibited reduced tolerance to drought and salt stresses, but had enhanced cold resistance by inducing expression of ROS-related genes. These results imply that GhRaf19 negatively regulates tolerance to drought and salt, but positively regulates resistance to cold stress in cotton.

For more information, read the full article in Plant Science.