Novel NAC transcription factor TaNAC67 confers enhanced multi-abiotic stress tolerances in Arabidopsis

PLoS One. 2014 Jan 10;9(1):e84359. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0084359. eCollection 2014.


Abiotic stresses are major environmental factors that affect agricultural productivity worldwide. NAC transcription factors play pivotal roles in abiotic stress signaling in plants. As a staple crop, wheat production is severely constrained by abiotic stresses whereas only a few NAC transcription factors have been characterized functionally. To promote the application of NAC genes in wheat improvement by biotechnology, a novel NAC gene designated TaNAC67 was characterized in common wheat. To determine its role, transgenic Arabidopsis overexpressing TaNAC67-GFP controlled by the CaMV-35S promoter was generated and subjected to various abiotic stresses for morphological and physiological assays. Gene expression showed that TaNAC67 was involved in response to drought, salt, cold and ABA treatments. Localization assays revealed that TaNAC67 localized in the nucleus. Morphological analysis indicated the transgenics had enhanced tolerances to drought, salt and freezing stresses, simultaneously supported by enhanced expression of multiple abiotic stress responsive genes and improved physiological traits, including strengthened cell membrane stability, retention of higher chlorophyll contents and Na(+) efflux rates, improved photosynthetic potential, and enhanced water retention capability. Overexpression of TaNAC67 resulted in pronounced enhanced tolerances to drought, salt and freezing stresses, therefore it has potential for utilization in transgenic breeding to improve abiotic stress tolerance in crops.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Biological* / genetics
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Arabidopsis / classification
  • Arabidopsis / physiology*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • DNA, Complementary / chemistry
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Intracellular Space / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phenotype
  • Phylogeny
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Protein Transport
  • Quantitative Trait, Heritable
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stress, Physiological* / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Triticum / genetics


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Transcription Factors

Grant support

This study was supported by the National High-tech R&D Project (863 Project, 2012AA10A308), National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, 2010CB951501) and Beijing Natural Science Foundation (6132030). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, desision to publish, or prepare of the manuscript.