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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2020, Vol. 19 Issue (11): 2699-2708    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(20)63350-0
Special Issue: 园艺-分子生物合辑Horticulture — Genetics · Breeding
Horticulture Advanced Online Publication | Current Issue | Archive | Adv Search |
Silencing the SLB3 transcription factor gene decreases drought stress tolerance in tomato
WANG Zi-yu1, BAO Yu-fang1, PEI Tong1, WU Tai-ru1, DU Xu1, HE Meng-xi1, WANG Yue1, LIU Qi-feng1, YANG Huan-huan1, JIANG Jing-bin1, ZHANG He1, LI Jing-fu1, ZHAO Ting-ting1, XU Xiang-yang1, 2 
1 College of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin 150030, P.R.China
2 Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Improvement of Horticultural Crops (Northeast Region), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Harbin 150030, P.R.China
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BRI1-EMS-SUPPRESSOR 1 (BES1) transcription factor is closely associated with the brassinosteroid (BR) signaling pathway and plays an important role in plant growth and development.  SLB3 is a member of BES1 transcription factor family and its expression was previously shown to increase significantly in tomato seedlings under drought stress.  In the present study,we used virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) technology to downregulate SLB3 expression to reveal the function of the SLB3 gene under drought stress further.  The downregulated expression of SLB3 weakened the drought tolerance of the plants appeared earlier wilting and higher accumulation of H2O2 and O2·, decreased superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, and increased proline (PRO) and malondialdehyde (MDA) contents and peroxidase (POD) activity.  Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis of BR-related genes revealed that the expression of SlCPD, SlDWARF and BIN2-related genes was significantly upregulated in SLB3-silenced seedlings under drought stress, but that the expression of TCH4-related genes was downregulated.  These results showed that silencing the SLB3 gene reduced the drought resistance of tomato plants and had an impact on the BR signaling transduction which may be probably responsible for the variation in drought resistance of the tomato plants. 
Keywords:  SLB3        BES1 transcription factor        VIGS        drought        gene expression        BR signaling pathway  
Received: 03 February 2020   Accepted:
Fund: This research was supported by the University Nursing Program for Young Scholars with Creative Talents in Heilongjiang Province, China (UNPYSCT-2018169), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation Grant (2018 M630333), the National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFD0101900), and the earmarked fund for China Agriculture Research System (CARS-23-A-16).
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence ZHAO Ting-ting, Tel/Fax: +86-451-55190300, E-mail:; XU Xiang-yang, E-mail:   
About author:  WANG Zi-yu, E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

WANG Zi-yu, bAO Yu-fang, PEI Tong, WU Tai-ru, DU Xu, HE Meng-xi, WANG Yue, LIU Qi-feng, YANG Huan-huan, JIANG Jing-bin, ZHANG He, LI Jing-fu, ZHAO Ting-ting, XU Xiang-yang. 2020. Silencing the SLB3 transcription factor gene decreases drought stress tolerance in tomato. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 19(11): 2699-2708.

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