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Crop Biotech Update

SlbZIP1 Regulates Biotic and Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Tomato

May 9, 2018

Basic region/leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factors (TF) regulate ABA-mediated stress response in plants. However, the functions for most bZIP members in tomato (Lycopersicon esculenta) remain unknown. Jiangsu Normal University researchers led by Mingku Zhu and Xiaoqing Meng studied the function of the tomato TF gene, SlbZIP1, under salt and drought stresses.

Silencing of SlbZIP1 in transgenic tomato plants resulted in reduced tolerance to salt and drought stresses compared to wild type plants. This was a result of the reduced expression of multiple ABA synthesis- and signal transduction-related genes in the transgenics. Furthermore, the transcription levels of multiple genes encoding defense proteins for plant response to abiotic and biotic stresses were also downregulated in the transgenic plants.

These findings suggest that SlbZIP1 is essential in salt and drought stress tolerance by regulating an ABA-mediated pathway. The gene may hold potential applications in the development of salt- and drought-tolerant tomatoes.

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