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Crop Biotech Update

Overexpression of BoC3H Gene Enhances Salt Stress Tolerance in Broccoli

July 26, 2017

C3H-type zinc finger proteins have been known to play important roles in plant growth, development, and stress responses. The team of Ming Jiang of Taizhou University in China aimed to study a C3H-type zinc finger gene from broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica) designated as BoC3H.

The transcripts of BoC3H were found to be induced by NaCl, with the highest expression levels observed at 18h after treatment. Four broccoli lines overexpressing BoC3H gene were then developed. These lines exhibited higher germination rates, dry weight and chlorophyll content in response to salt stress compared to wild type plants.

Further analysis showed that overexpression of BoC3H significantly decreased hydrogen peroxide levels, relative electrical conductivity (REC) and malondialdehyde (MDA) contents, while dramatically increasing free proline content, catalase, peroxidase and superoxide dismutase enzyme activities. These resulted in less cell death in the leaves of transgenic plants.

These results suggest that BoC3H contributes to salt stress tolerance by regulating hydrogen peroxide levels, REC, free proline, MDA, and antioxidant enzyme levels in broccoli.

For more information, read the article in Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture.