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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2023, Vol. 22 Issue (5): 1396-1411    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2023.04.003
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Cassava MeRS40 is required for the regulation of plant salt tolerance

MA Xiao-wen1, MA Qiu-xiang2, MA Mu-qing1, CHEN Yan-hang1, 3, GU Jin-bao1, 3, LI Yang1, 3, HU Qing1, LUO Qing-wen3, WEN Ming-fu3, ZHANG Peng2, LI Cong1, 3#, WANG Zhen-yu1, 3#

1 Institute of Nanfan & Seed Industry, Guangdong Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510316, P.R.China

2 National Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics, CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200032, P.R.China

3 Zhanjiang Research Center, Institute of Nanfan & Seed Industry, Guangdong Academy of Sciences, Zhanjiang 524300, P.R.China 

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盐胁迫下选择性剪接可调控丝氨酸/精氨酸丰富(SR)蛋白的表达和异构体的形成。前期研究鉴定了木薯SR蛋白家族中的两个亚家族SCLSR,这两个亚家族参与调控植物非生物胁迫的响应,然而SR蛋白家族中的其他亚家族是否也转录后水平上调控植物盐胁迫应答有待探究。本研究通过11个物种RS亚家族的同源性比对找到37个基因,并系统性的分析了RS40 和 RS31基因在非生物胁迫条件下的表达情况。进一步蛋白结构域分析表明植物RS亚家族在非生物胁迫响应中其作用可能是保守的。在拟南芥中过表达MeRS40基因可通过维持活性氧的动态平衡和调控盐胁迫响应基因的表达进而提高植物的耐盐性。然而,在木薯中过表达MeRS40基因则通过负调节自身pre-mRNA来抑制其内源性基因表达,从而降低转基因木薯的耐盐性此外,MeRS40蛋白与木薯MeU1-70Ks(MeU1-70Ka 和 MeU1-70Kb)蛋白在体内和体外互作。因此,我们的研究为木薯SR蛋白参与调控盐胁迫应答提供了新的理论基础和探索方向。


Soil salinity affects the expression of serine/arginine-rich (SR) genes and isoforms by alternative splicing, which in turn regulates the adaptation of plants to stress.  We previously identified the cassava spliceosomal component 35 like (SCL) and SR subfamilies, belonging to the SR protein family, which are extensively involved in responses to abiotic stresses.  However, the post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism of cassava arginine/serine-rich (RS) subfamily in response to salt stress remains to be explored.  In the current study, we identified 37 genes of the RS subfamily from 11 plant species and systematically investigated the transcript levels of the RS40 and RS31 genes under diverse abiotic stress conditions.  Subsequently, an analysis of the conserved protein domains revealed that plant RS subfamily genes were likely to preserve their conserved molecular functions and played critical functional roles in responses to abiotic stresses.  Importantly, we found that overexpression of MeRS40 in Arabidopsis enhanced salt tolerance by maintaining reactive oxygen species homeostasis and up-regulating the salt-responsive genes.  However, overexpression of MeRS40 gene in cassava reduced salt tolerance due to the depression of its endogenous gene expression by negative autoregulation of its own pre-mRNA.  Moreover, the MeRS40 protein interacted with MeU1-70Ks (MeU1-70Ka and MeU1-70Kb) in vivo and in vitro, respectively.  Therefore, our findings highlight the critical role of cassava SR proteins in responses to salt stress in plants. 

Keywords:  cassava        alternative splicing        serine/arginine-rich proteins        salt stress  
Received: 31 August 2022   Accepted: 23 February 2023
Fund: This work was supported by grants from the Talent Program of Guangdong Academy of Sciences, China (2021GDASYL-20210103038, 2020GDASYL-2020102011, and 2021GDASYL-20210103036), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (32171292 and 32100294), the Guangdong Pearl River Talents Program, China (2021CX02N173), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2020M682629), and the Zhanjiang Plan for Navigation, China (211207157080997).
About author:  MA Xiao-wen, E-mail:; #Correspondence WANG Zhen-yu, E-mail:; LI Cong, E-mail:

Cite this article: 

MA Xiao-wen, MA Qiu-xiang, MA Mu-qing, CHEN Yan-hang, GU Jin-bao, LI Yang, HU Qing, LUO Qing-wen, WEN Ming-fu, ZHANG Peng, LI Cong, WANG Zhen-yu. 2023.

Cassava MeRS40 is required for the regulation of plant salt tolerance . Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 22(5): 1396-1411.

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