Overexpression of Arabidopsis MYB96 confers drought resistance in Camelina sativa via cuticular wax accumulation

Plant Cell Rep. 2014 Sep;33(9):1535-46. doi: 10.1007/s00299-014-1636-1. Epub 2014 Jun 1.


Camelina has been highlighted as an emerging oilseed crop. Transgenic Camelina plants overexpressing Arabidopsis MYB96 exhibited drought resistance by activating expression of Camelina wax biosynthetic genes and accumulating wax load. Camelina (Camelina sativa L.) is an oilseed crop in the Brassicaeae family with potential to expand biofuel production to marginal land. The aerial portion of all land plants is covered with cuticular wax to protect them from desiccation. In this study, the Arabidopsis MYB96 gene was overexpressed in Camelina under the control of the CaMV35S promoter. Transgenic Camelina plants overexpressing Arabidopsis MYB96 exhibited normal growth and development and enhanced tolerance to drought. Deposition of epicuticular wax crystals and total wax loads increased significantly on the surfaces of transgenic leaves compared with that of non-transgenic plants. The levels of alkanes and primary alcohols prominently increased in transgenic Camelina plants relative to non-transgenic plants. Cuticular transpiration occurred more slowly in transgenic leaves than that in non-transgenic plants. Genome-wide identification of Camelina wax biosynthetic genes enabled us to determine that the expression levels of CsKCS2, CsKCS6, CsKCR1-1, CsKCR1-2, CsECR, and CsMAH1 were approximately two to sevenfold higher in transgenic Camelina leaves than those in non-transgenic leaves. These results indicate that MYB96-mediated transcriptional regulation of wax biosynthetic genes is an approach applicable to generating drought-resistant transgenic crops. Transgenic Camelina plants with enhanced drought tolerance could be cultivated on marginal land to produce renewable biofuels and biomaterials.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Base Sequence
  • Brassicaceae / genetics
  • Brassicaceae / physiology*
  • Chlorophyll / metabolism
  • Droughts
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Epidermis / genetics
  • Plant Epidermis / physiology
  • Plant Leaves / genetics
  • Plant Leaves / physiology
  • Plant Stomata / genetics
  • Plant Stomata / physiology
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Up-Regulation
  • Water / physiology
  • Waxes / analysis
  • Waxes / metabolism*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • MYB96 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Transcription Factors
  • Waxes
  • Water
  • Chlorophyll

Associated data

  • GENBANK/KJ461880
  • GENBANK/KJ461881
  • GENBANK/KJ461882
  • GENBANK/KJ461883
  • GENBANK/KJ461884
  • GENBANK/KJ461885
  • GENBANK/KJ461886
  • GENBANK/KJ461887
  • GENBANK/KJ461888
  • GENBANK/KJ461889