Crop Biotech Update

Apple Protein MdY3IP1 Triggers Early-Flowering and Salt-Tolerance in Arabidopsis

January 24, 2018

The nucleus-encoded thylakoid protein Y3IP1 is known for its role in photosystem I (PSI). However, its function in other plant processes remains poorly understood. Shandong Agricultural University researchers led by Jian-Qiang Yu recently identified the apple MdY3IP1 gene, which expresses a protein highly similar to the Arabidopsis AtY3IP1.

Expression of MdY3IP1 in Arabidopsis resulted in early-flowering and enhanced salt tolerance. The MdY3IP1 protein was found to control flowering by accelerating sugar metabolism in plant cells, affecting the flowering-related genes. Analysis revealed that the increase in salt stress tolerance in MdY3IP1-expressing plants was related to an increase in the development of lateral roots. These findings provide new evidence for other functions of Y3IP1-like proteins and how Y3IP1 proteins control early-flowering and salt tolerance in plants.

These results suggest that plant growth and stress resistance can be affected by the regulation of the MdY3IP1 gene. Further molecular and genetic approaches will accelerate our knowledge of MdY3IP1 functions and create strategies for developing transgenic crops with early maturity and resistance to adverse environmental conditions.

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