Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play key roles in plants and are regulated by several ROS-scavenging enzymes. Ascorbate peroxidase (APX), which catalyzes the reduction of hydrogen peroxide to water, a vital part of ROS formation, plays a significant role in higher plants. In this study, a cytosolic APX gene from Populus tomentosa, named PcAPX, was identified and characterized. Recombinant PcAPX had a calculated mass of 33.24 kD and showed high activity towards ascorbic acid (ASA) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Real-time PCR analysis showed that APX mRNA expression levels were higher in leaves than roots or stems of P. tomentosa. Compared with wild-type, transgenic tobacco plants overexpressing PcAPX showed no significant difference in morphology under normal conditions. However, the transgenic plants were more resistant to drought, salt and oxidative stress conditions, as shown by decreased levels of malondialdehyde and increased levels of chlorophyll. Moreover, decreased H2O2 levels, increased ASA consumption, an increase in the NADP to NADPH ratio, and higher APX activity in the transgenic plants suggested an increased ability to eliminate ROS. These data suggest that PcAPX overexpression in transgenic tobacco plants can enhance tolerance to drought, salt and oxidative stress. Therefore, APX has a crucial role in abiotic stress tolerance in plants.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 5, 2017
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