Previous studies have shown that ubiquitination plays important roles in plant abiotic stress responses. In the present study, the ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme gene GmUBC2, a homologue of yeast RAD6, was cloned from soybean and functionally characterized. GmUBC2 was expressed in all tissues in soybean and was up-regulated by drought and salt stress. Arabidopsis plants overexpressing GmUBC2 were more tolerant to salinity and drought stresses compared with the control plants. Through expression analyses of putative downstream genes in the transgenic plants, we found that the expression levels of two ion antiporter genes AtNHX1 and AtCLCa, a key gene involved in the biosynthesis of proline, AtP5CS, and the copper chaperone for superoxide dismutase gene AtCCS, were all increased significantly in the transgenic plants. These results suggest that GmUBC2 is involved in the regulation of ion homeostasis, osmolyte synthesis, and oxidative stress responses. Our results also suggest that modulation of the ubiquitination pathway could be an effective means of improving salt and drought tolerance in plants through genetic engineering.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 26, 2009
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