Table_2_BrLAS, a GRAS Transcription Factor From Brassica rapa, Is Involved in Drought Stress Tolerance in Transgenic Arabidopsis.docx

GRAS proteins belong to a plant-specific transcription factor family and play roles in diverse physiological processes and environmental signals. In this study, we identified and characterized a GRAS transcription factor gene in Brassica rapa, BrLAS, an ortholog of Arabidopsis AtLAS. BrLAS was primarily expressed in the roots and axillary meristems, and localized exclusively in the nucleus of B. rapa protoplast cells. qRT-PCR analysis indicated that BrLAS was upregulated by exogenous abscisic acid (ABA) and abiotic stress treatment [polyethylene glycol (PEG), NaCl, and H2O2]. BrLAS-overexpressing Arabidopsis plants exhibited pleiotropic characteristics, including morphological changes, delayed bolting and flowering time, reduced fertility and delayed senescence. Transgenic plants also displayed significantly enhanced drought resistance with decreased accumulation of ROS and increased antioxidant enzyme activity under drought treatment compared with the wild-type. Increased sensitivity to exogenous ABA was also observed in the transgenic plants. qRT-PCR analysis further showed that expression of several genes involved in stress responses and associated with leaf senescence were also modified. These findings suggest that BrLAS encodes a stress-responsive GRASs transcription factor that positively regulates drought stress tolerance, suggesting a role in breeding programs aimed at improving drought tolerance in plants.