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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2018, Vol. 17 Issue (11): 2379-2393    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(18)61947-1
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Maize ABP2 enhances tolerance to drought and salt stress in transgenic Arabidopsis
ZONG Na1*, LI Xing-juan1, 2*, WANG Lei1, WANG Ying1, WEN Hong-tao1, LI Ling2, ZHANG Xia1, FAN Yun-liu1, ZHAO Jun1 
1 National Key Facility for Crop Gene Resources and Genetic Improvement/Faculty of Maize Functional Genomics, Biotechnology Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, P.R.China
2 Guangdong Key Laboratory of Biotechnology for Plant Development/College of Life Science, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, P.R.China
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Abiotic stresses, especially drought and salt, severely affect maize production, which is one of the most important cereal crops in the world.  Breeding stress-tolerant maize through biotechnology is urgently needed to maintain maize production.  Therefore, it is important to identify new genes that can enhance both drought and salt stress tolerance for molecular breeding. In this study, we identified a maize ABA (abscisic acid)-responsive element (ABRE) binding protein from a 17-day post-pollination (dpp) maize embryo cDNA library by yeast one-hybrid screen using the ABRE2 sequence of the maize Cat1 gene as bait.  This protein, designated, ABRE binding protein 2 (ABP2), belongs to the bZIP transcription factor family.  Endogenous expression of ABP2 in maize can be detected in different tissues at various development stages, and can be induced by drought, salt, reactive oxygen species (ROS)-generating agents, and ABA treatment.  Constitutive expression of ABP2 in transgenic Arabidopsis plants enhanced tolerance to drought and salt stress, and increased sensitivity to ABA.  In exploring the mechanism by which ABP2 can stimulate abiotic stress tolerance, we found that ROS levels were reduced and expression of stress-responsive and carbon metabolism-related genes was enhanced by constitutive ABP2 expression in transgenic plants.  In short, we identified a maize bZIP transcription factor which can enhance both drought and salt tolerance of plants.
Keywords:  ABP2        maize        transcription factor        drought        salt        transgenic Arabidopsis  
Received: 02 November 2017   Accepted:
Fund: This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (30870202), the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFD0101002), and the National Special Program for Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) Development of China (2016ZX08003-004).
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence ZHAO Jun, Tel/Fax: +86-10-82105320, E-mail:   
About author:  * These authors contributed equally to this study.

Cite this article: 

ZONG Na, LI Xing-juan, WANG Lei, WANG Ying, WEN Hong-tao, LI Ling, ZHANG Xia, FAN Yun-liu, ZHAO Jun. 2018. Maize ABP2 enhances tolerance to drought and salt stress in transgenic Arabidopsis. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 17(11): 2379-2393.

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