Ku70-binding proteins associate with Ku70 and their expression levels can affect DSB repair efficiency via the DNA-PK-dependent repair pathway. However, how Ku70-binding proteins in plants exert a regulatory function under abiotic stress is poorly understood. Here, we cloned and characterized a PoKub3 gene from 500-year-old Platycladus orientalis. With increasing age, PoKub3 expression in P. orientalis increased gradually. The PoKub3 expression levels in leaves were upregulated under salt, heat, UV-C and abscisic acid treatments according to qRT-PCR. Moreover, PoKub3 overexpression in Arabidopsis thaliana improved tolerance to salt and drought stress compared with wild-type (WT) and vector control (VC) plants. High RAB18 and DREB2A expression and low JAZ1 and ABI2 expression provided strong evidence that salt tolerance was enhanced in the overexpression plants. Similarly, high RAB18 and DREB2A expression, accompanied by low JAZ1 and LOX1 expression and high DREB1A, CPK10, GSTF6 and APX1 expression, suggested the drought tolerance mechanism was associated with the abscisic acid pathway. In addition, lower malondialdehyde content, electrolyte leakage and stomatal conductance, and higher soluble sugar and relative water contents in PoKub3 overexpression lines than in WT and VC plants demonstrated its role in salt and drought tolerance. Together, these findings show that PoKub3 positively regulates salt and drought tolerance by regulating stress-related genes.
Journal of Plant Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 8, 2017
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