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   Location:Home > Research > Research Progress
Expression of bHLH104-GF improves plants’ tolerance to iron deficiency
Author: Wang Ce
Update time: 2017-06-23
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Iron (Fe) deficiency has become a widespread agricultural problem, because Fe deficiency reduces plant growth, crop yield, and crop quality. Plants take up Fe from the soil by roots. About one-third of worldwide cultivated land belongs to calcareous soils where Fe availability is very low. Thus breeding plants with strong Fe-uptake ability has been suggested as a good approach to improve crop yield in calcareous soils.

   Researchers from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) attempted to improve the plants’ tolerance of Arabidopsis to Fe deficiency under Fe-deficiency conditions. They selected three different Fe-deficiency responsive promoters (ProIRT1, ProMYB72, and ProbHLH100) to drive the expression of a bHLH104-GFP fusion gene. The corresponding transgenic plants were generated.

  Their experiments showed that overexpression of Fe deficiency responsive genes, IRT1, MYB72, or bHLH100, caused enhanced sensitivity to Fe deficiency. ProIRT1:bHLH104-GFP plants showed the enhanced sensitivity to Fe deficiency on Fe-deficient media and the reduced fertility in alkaline soil.

In contrast, ProbHLH100:bHLH104-GFP plants displayed a slight tolerance to Fe deficiency and ProMYB72:bHLH104-GFP plants had a significant advantage in growth in alkaline soil, including increased root length, chlorophyll, and biomass.

  In the alkaline soil, ProMYB72:bHLH104-GFP had higher seed yield and Fe concentration than other plants analyzed.

  The study reveals that the expression of bHLH104-GFP driven by Fe-responsive promoters conferred superior growth, high seed yield, and high seed Fe concentration under Fe-deficiency conditions in Arabidopsis. It provides a candidate strategy for breeding Fe-deficiency tolerant plants.

  The study entitled “Fe-deficiency-induced expression of bHLH104 enhances Fe-deficiency tolerance of Arabidopsis thaliana” has been published online in Planta.



LIANG Gang, Ph.D Principal Investigator

Key Laboratory of Tropical Plant Resources and Sustainable Use, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun 666303, Yunnan, China

E-mail:  lianggang@xtbg.ac.cn

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Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Menglun, Mengla, Yunnan 666303, China
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