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Crop Biotech Update

Overexpression of PaFKBP12 in Arabidopsis Enhances Tolerance to Multiple Stresses

January 10, 2018

Alpine Haircap Moss (Polytrichastrum alpinum) is one of the polar organisms that can withstand the severe conditions of the Antarctic. Hemasundar Alavilli of Sogang University in South Korea isolated a peptidyl prolyl isomerase gene, PaFKBP12, from P. alpinum from the Antarctic and studied its function in plant development and stress responses.

PaFKBP12 expression was found to be induced by heat and ABA. Overexpression of PaFKBP12 in Arabidopsis increased the plant size, stemming from increased rates of cell cycle. Under heat stress, PaFKBP12-overexpressing lines showed better growth and survival than wild types.

The overexpressing lines also showed higher root elongation rates, better shoot growth and enhanced survival at higher concentrations of ABA compared to wild types. Moreover, these lines were also more tolerant to drought and salt stress. All phenotypes were also accompanied by higher induction of the stress responsive genes.

Based on the findings, PaFKBP12 has important functions in plant development and abiotic stress responses.

For more on this study, read the article in Plant Cell Reports.