TaPUB1, a Putative E3 Ligase Gene from Wheat, Enhances Salt Stress Tolerance in Transgenic Nicotiana benthamiana

Plant Cell Physiol. 2017 Oct 1;58(10):1673-1688. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pcx101.


High salinity is one of the most severe environmental stresses and limits the growth and yield of diverse crop plants. We isolated a gene named TaPUB1 from wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv HF9703) that encodes a novel protein containing a U-box domain, the precursor RNA processing 19p (Prp19) superfamily and WD-40 repeats. Real-time reverse transcription-PCR analysis showed that TaPUB1 transcript accumulation was up-regulated by high salinity, drought and phytohormones, suggesting that it plays a role in the abiotic-related defense response. We overexpressed TaPUB1 in Nicotiana benthamiana to evaluate the function of TaPUB1 in the regulation of the salt stress response. Transgenic N. benthamiana plants (OE) with constitutively overexpressed TaPUB1 under the control of the Cauliflower mosaic virus 35S (CaMV 35S) promoter exhibited a higher germination rate, less growth inhibition, less Chl loss and higher photosynthetic capacity than wild-type (WT) plants under salt stress conditions. These results demonstrated the increased tolerance of OE plants to salt stress compared with the WT. The OE plants had lower osmotic potential (OP), reduced Na+ toxicity and less reactive oxygen species accumulation compared with the WT, which may be related to their higher level of osmolytes, lower Na+/K+ ratio and higher antioxidant enzyme activities under salt stress conditions. Consistent with these results, the up-regulated expression of osmic- and antioxidant-related genes in OE plants indicated a role for TaPUB1 in plant salt tolerance.

Keywords: E3 ligase gene; Na+/K+ ratio; ROS; Salt stress; TaPUB1; Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.).

MeSH terms

  • Abscisic Acid / pharmacology
  • Adaptation, Physiological / drug effects
  • Adaptation, Physiological / genetics
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / physiology
  • Cell Nucleus / drug effects
  • Cell Nucleus / enzymology
  • Electrolytes / metabolism
  • Gases / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / drug effects
  • Genes, Plant*
  • Osmosis
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Photosynthesis / drug effects
  • Photosynthesis / genetics
  • Photosystem II Protein Complex / metabolism
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Potassium / metabolism
  • Salt Tolerance / drug effects
  • Salt Tolerance / genetics*
  • Seedlings / drug effects
  • Seedlings / genetics
  • Sodium / metabolism
  • Sodium Chloride / pharmacology
  • Stress, Physiological / genetics*
  • Tobacco / drug effects
  • Tobacco / genetics
  • Tobacco / physiology*
  • Triticum / drug effects
  • Triticum / enzymology*
  • Triticum / genetics*
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / genetics*
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Electrolytes
  • Gases
  • Photosystem II Protein Complex
  • Plant Proteins
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Abscisic Acid
  • Sodium
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • Potassium