Biotech Updates

Gene from Commerson's Wild Potato Confers Significant Freezing and Drought Tolerance in Arabidopsis

February 7, 2018

Potato (Solanum tuberosum) is a drought- and frost-sensitive crop that is incapable of adapting to cold temperatures. Commerson's wild potato (Solanum commersonii) is a tuber-bearing wild potato species that exhibits greater frost and drought resistance than the common potato. The CBF/DREB transcription factors play important roles in response to a variety of abiotic stresses including cold and drought stresses.

To explore different functions between potato CBF1 (StCBF1) and Commerson's wild potato CBF1 (ScCBF1), Jian Li of Shandong Agricultural University expressed these two genes in two separate Arabidopsis lines. All the transgenic plants exhibited the dwarf phenotypes with delayed flowering and thicker and additional rosette leaves. However, the ScCBF1 transgenic lines showed significant tolerance to freezing and drought stress than the StCBF1 transgenic lines. The expression levels of several cold-responsive and development-related genes, including genes that inhibited plant growth and delayed flowering were also higher in all transgenic plants.

These results suggest that the two CBF1 genes play important roles in the plant response to abiotic stress and in plant growth and development. However, ScCBF1 plays a more pronounced function than StCBF1.

For more information, read the article in Plant Science.