The heterologous expression in Arabidopsis of a chrysanthemum Cys2/His2 zinc finger protein gene confers salinity and drought tolerance

Planta. 2012 May;235(5):979-93. doi: 10.1007/s00425-011-1558-x. Epub 2011 Nov 30.


Zinc finger proteins (ZFPs) play an important role in plant growth and development. Here, we describe the isolation of CgZFP1, a Cys2/His2 (C(2)H(2)) ZFP gene, using RACE PCR from chrysanthemum, and the investigation of its function with ectopic expression in Arabidopsis. CgZFP1 contains two conserved C(2)H(2) regions, a nuclear localization domain (B box), a Leu-rich domain (L box) and a conserved DLN sequence (DLN box) close to its C-terminus. Its expression in the chrysanthemum leaf was strongly induced by salinity or drought, but not by ABA. Subcellular localization assay indicated that CgZFP1 protein is localized in nucleus in vivo. Yeast-one hybrid assay showed that CgZFP1 possesses transcriptional activation ability, heterologous expression of CgZFP1 conferred tolerance of transgenic Arabidopsis plants to both salinity and drought stresses. Under salinity stress, genes involved in osmotic adjustment, ROS scavenging, and ion homeostasis: Atlea3, AtP5CS2, AtProT1, and AtMnSOD, AtPOD, AtAPX1, and AtSOS1, AtSOS2, AtSOS3, AtNHX1 were enhanced in CgZFP1 transgenic Arabidopsis plants. Moreover, genes involved in the osmotic adjustment and oxidative stress responses: Atlea3, AtP5CS2, AtProT1, the aquaporin AtPIP2A, and AtMnSOD, AtPOD, AtAPX1 were induced in CgZFP1 transgenic Arabidopsis under drought stress. These results indicate CgZFP1 is an important regulator involved in the salt and drought stress response in plants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Chrysanthemum / genetics
  • Chrysanthemum / metabolism
  • Droughts
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Genes, Plant
  • Plant Leaves / physiology
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Salinity
  • Salt Tolerance / genetics
  • Stress, Physiological / genetics*
  • Zinc Fingers / genetics*


  • Plant Proteins