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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1981; doi:10.3390/ijms18091981

Up-Regulation of HSFA2c and HSPs by ABA Contributing to Improved Heat Tolerance in Tall Fescue and Arabidopsis

1
College of Agro-grassland Science, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
2
Key Laboratory of Grassland Ecosystem, College of Grassland Science, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou 730070, China
3
Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 August 2017 / Revised: 8 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Botany)
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Abstract

Abscisic acid (ABA) is known to play roles in regulating plant tolerance to various abiotic stresses, but whether ABA’s effects on heat tolerance are associated with its regulation of heat stress transcription factors (HSFs) and heat shock proteins (HSPs) is not well documented. The objective of this study was to determine whether improved heat tolerance of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) by ABA was through the regulation of HSFs and HSPs. ABA-responsive transcriptional factors, ABA-responsive element binding protein 3 (FaAREB3) and dehydration-responsive element binding protein 2A (FaDREB2A) of tall fescue, were able to bind to the cis-elements in the promoter of tall fescue heat stress transcription factor A2c (FaHSFA2c). Exogenous ABA (5 μM) application enhanced heat tolerance of tall fescue, as manifested by increased leaf photochemical efficiency and membrane stability under heat stress (37/32 °C, day/night). The expression levels of FaHSFA2c, several tall fescue HSPs (FaHSPs), and ABA-responsive transcriptional factors were up-regulated in plants treated with ABA. Deficiency of Arabidopsis heat stress transcription factor A2 (AtHSFA2) suppressed ABA-induction of AtHSPs expression and ABA-improved heat tolerance in Arabidopsis. These results suggested that HSFA2 plays an important role in ABA-mediated plant heat tolerance, and FaAREB3 and FaDREB2A may function as upstream trans-acting factors and regulate transcriptional activity of FaHSFA2c and the downstream FaHSPs, leading to improved heat tolerance. View Full-Text
Keywords: tall fescue; abscisic acid; heat stress transcription factor; heat shock protein; heat tolerance tall fescue; abscisic acid; heat stress transcription factor; heat shock protein; heat tolerance
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, X.; Zhuang, L.; Shi, Y.; Huang, B. Up-Regulation of HSFA2c and HSPs by ABA Contributing to Improved Heat Tolerance in Tall Fescue and Arabidopsis. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1981.

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