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Crop Biotech Update

Cyanobacterial Flavodoxin Overexpression Confers Abiotic Resistance in Creeping Bentgrass

October 26, 2016

Flavodoxin (Fld) is vital in photosynthetic microorganisms as an alternative electron carrier under adverse environmental conditions. Cyanobacterial Fld was revealed to be capable of substituting ferredoxin of higher plants in most electron transfer processes under stress conditions. A team of researchers, led by Zhigang Li from Huazhong Agricultural University and Clemson University, explored the potential of Fld in improving plant stress response in creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.).

Plants overexpressing Fld exhibited enhanced performance under oxidative, drought and heat stress as well as nitrogen (N) starvation than wild-type controls. Further analysis also revealed that Fld-overexpression affected the expression of other stress-related genes, including heat-shock protein genes. The transgenics also had elevated N accumulation and higher total chlorophyll content than wild-types.

The results of this study establish the key role of Fld in modulating plant growth and development as well as plant response to environmental stresses. This presents the feasibility of using Fld in crops for engineering of plant stress tolerance.

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