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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2020, Vol. 19 Issue (4): 941-952    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(19)62714-0
Special Issue: Triticeae Crops Genetics · Breeding · Germplasm Resources
Crop Science Advanced Online Publication | Current Issue | Archive | Adv Search |
Heterologous expression of the ThIPK2 gene enhances drought resistance of common wheat
ZHANG Shu-juan*, LI Yu-lian*, SONG Guo-qi, GAO Jie, ZHANG Rong-zhi, LI Wei, CHEN Ming-li, LI Gen-ying
Crop Research Institute, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences/Key Laboratory of Wheat Biology and Genetic Improvement on North Yellow and Huai River Valley, Ministry of Agriculture/National Engineering Laboratory for Wheat and Maize, Jinan 250100, P.R.China
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ThIPK2 is an inositol polyphosphate kinase gene cloned from Thellungiella halophila that participates in diverse cellular processes.  Drought is a major limiting factor in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) production.  The present study investigated whether the application of the ThIPK2 gene could increase the drought resistance of transgenic wheat.  The codon-optimized ThIPK2 gene was transferred into common wheat through Agrobacterium-mediated transformation driven by either a constitutive maize ubiquitin promoter or a stress-inducible rd29A promoter from Arabidopsis.  Molecular characterization confirmed the presence of the foreign gene in the transformed plants.  The transgenic expression of ThIPK2 in wheat led to significantly improve drought tolerance compared to that observed in control plants.  Compared to the wild type (WT) plants, the transgenic plants showed higher seed germination rates, better developed root systems, a higher relative water content (RWC) and total soluble sugar content, and less cell membrane damage under drought stress conditions.  The expression profiles showed different expression patterns with the use of different promoters.  The codon-optimized ThIPK2 gene is a candidate gene to enhance wheat drought stress tolerance by genetic engineering.
Keywords:  codon-optimized        drought        rd29A        ThIPK2        Triticum aestivum L  
Received: 29 December 2018   Accepted: 04 March 2020
Fund: This research was supported by the Youth Foundation of Shandong Academy of Agricultural Science, China (2016YQN01), the National Science and Technology Major Project of the Ministry of Agriculture of China (2018ZX08009-10B), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31601301, 31501312, 31401378), the Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province, China (ZR2014CM006), the Youth Foundation of Crop Research Institute, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China (3201-04), and the Key Research and Development Plan of Shandong Province, China (2017GNC10113).
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence LI Gen-ying, Tel: +86-531-66658122, E-mail:   
About author:  ZHANG Shu-juan, E-mail:; LI Yu-lian, E-mail:; * These authors contributed equally to this study.

Cite this article: 

ZHANG Shu-juan, LI Yu-lian, SONG Guo-qi, GAO Jie, ZHANG Rong-zhi, LI Wei, CHEN Ming-li, LI Gen-ying. 2020. Heterologous expression of the ThIPK2 gene enhances drought resistance of common wheat. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 19(4): 941-952.

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