Solanum tuberosum potato species constitute the bulk of economically and agronomically important potato production. However, S. tuberosum is a drought- and frost-sensitive species that is incapable of acclimating to the cold. Solanum commersonii is a tuber-bearing wild potato species that exhibits greater frost and drought resistance than S. tuberosum. CBF/DREB (C-REPET BINDING FACTOR/DROUGHT RESPONSE ELEMENT BINGING FACTOR) transcription factors play important roles in response to a variety of abiotic stresses, such as cold, drought and salt stresses. To explore different functions between S. tuberosum CBF1 (StCBF1) and S. commersonii CBF1 (ScCBF1), Arabidopsis was transformed with the ScCBF1 and StCBF1 genes driven by a constitutive CaMV35S promoter. Our results reveal that the ScCBF1 transgenic lines are much more tolerant to freezing and drought than the StCBF1 transgenic lines. The development of transgenic plants was altered, resulting in dwarf phenotype with delayed flowering and thicker and additional rosette leaves. The expression levels of several COR (COLD-RESPONSIVE) genes and development-related genes, including genes that inhibited plant growth (GA2ox7, RGL3) and delayed flowering (FLC) were higher in transgenic plants. These results suggest that these two potato CBF1 play important roles in the plant response to abiotic stress and can influence plant growth and development, and ScCBF1 plays a more pronounced function than StCBF1.
Keywords: CBF; COR; Drought stress; Freezing stress; Potato.
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