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Crop Biotech Update

BplMYB46 Gene Affects Abiotic Stress Tolerance and Secondary Cell Wall Synthesis in Birch

August 17, 2016

Plant MYB transcription factors control various processes, such as differentiation, development and abiotic stress responses. Northeast Forestry University researchers, led by Huiyan Guo, studied BplMYB46, an MYB gene from birch (Betula platyphylla). The team evaluated transgenic birch plants which were either overexpressing BplMYB46 or had a silenced BplMYB46, to study the gene's specific role.

Analysis suggests that BplMYB46 can improve salt and osmotic tolerance by affecting the expression of SOD, POD and P5CS genes to increase reactive oxygen species scavenging. It is also involved in controlling stomatal aperture to reduce water loss. Overexpression of BplMYB46 also increased lignin deposition, secondary cell wall thickness and the expression of genes in secondary cell wall formation.

Further analysis revealed that the BplMYB46 protein binds to MYBCORE and AC-box motifs and directly activates the expression of genes with promoters that contain these motifs, such as those involved in abiotic stress responses and secondary cell wall synthesis.

For more information on this study, read the full article in Plant Biotechnology Journal.