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Heterologous overexpression of ApZFP Promotes Flowering and Improves Abiotic Tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana

Hui Liu, Danli Guo, Darun Cai, Xianzhong Huang*   

  1. College of Life Sciences, Shihezi University, Shihezi 832003, China
  • Online:2016-05-24 Published:2016-05-01
  • Contact: Xianzhong Huang


Zinc finger proteins (ZFPs) are important transcription factors widely involved in plant growth and development, as well as response to abiotic stress. Arabidopsis pumila (synonym: Olimarabidopsis pumila) is a cruciferous ephemeral plant, possessing biological characteristics of strong photosynthesis, high reproductive capacity and drought tolerance, and is more tolerant to salt stress than A. thaliana. To study the physiological functions of A. pumila ZFP (ApZFP), the 35S::ApZFP construct we cloned previously was transformed into Arabidopsis (Col-0) by the floral dip method, then independent transgenic lines were determined. Overexpression of ApZFP in Arabidopsis promotes Arabidopsis flowering under long- and short-day conditions. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR revealed that overexpression of ApZFP in Arabidopsis increases the expression of the photoperiod pathway gene CO, age pathway gene SPL, FT encoding florigen gene and downstream flowering-related genes AP1 and LFY; it decreases the expression of the vernalization, autonomous and ambient temperature pathway gene FLC. In addition, the germination rates are higher in 35S::ApZFP transgenic plants than the wild type, and the primary root length during seedling growth is longer under abiotic stress such as salt, mannitol and ABA treatment. ApZFP has multifaceted roles during plant development, participating in flowering transition and stress tolerance in Arabidopsis.

Key words: Arabidopsis pumila, Olimarabidopsis pumila, zinc finger protein, early flowering, stress tolerance

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