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Open AccessArticle

Alteration of Transcripts of Stress-Protective Genes and Transcriptional Factors by γ-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Associated with Improved Heat and Drought Tolerance in Creeping Bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera)

1,2, 1 and 2,*
1
Department of Grassland Science, College of Animal Science and Technology, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu 611130, Sichuan, China
2
Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, Rutgers University, 59 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(6), 1623; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19061623
Received: 19 April 2018 / Revised: 18 May 2018 / Accepted: 25 May 2018 / Published: 31 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Plant Sciences)
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Abstract

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) may play a positive role in regulating plant tolerance to drought or heat stress. The objectives of this study were to investigate the physiological effects of GABA on tolerance of creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) to heat and drought stress and to determine whether enhanced heat and drought tolerance due to GABA treatment was associated with the up-regulation of selected genes and transcriptional factors involved in stress protection. Creeping bentgrass (cultivar “Penncross”) plants were treated with 0.5 mM GABA or water (untreated control) as a foliar spray and were subsequently exposed to heat stress (35/30 °C, day/night), drought stress by withholding irrigation, or non-stress conditions in controlled-environment growth chambers. Exogenous application of GABA significantly improved plant tolerance to heat and drought stress, as reflected by increased leaf water content, cell membrane stability, and chlorophyll content. The analysis of gene transcript level revealed that exogenous GABA up-regulated the expression of ABF3, POD, APX, HSP90, DHN3, and MT1 during heat stress and the expression of CDPK26, MAPK1, ABF3, WRKY75, MYB13, HSP70, MT1, 14-3-3, and genes (SOD, CAT, POD, APX, MDHAR, DHAR, and GR) encoding antioxidant enzymes during drought stress. The up-regulation of the aforementioned stress-protective genes and transcriptional factors could contribute to improved heat and drought tolerance in creeping bentgrass. View Full-Text
Keywords: high temperature; water stress; dehydrins; heat shock protein; antioxidant genes; plant growth regulator high temperature; water stress; dehydrins; heat shock protein; antioxidant genes; plant growth regulator
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Li, Z.; Peng, Y.; Huang, B. Alteration of Transcripts of Stress-Protective Genes and Transcriptional Factors by γ-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Associated with Improved Heat and Drought Tolerance in Creeping Bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera). Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 1623.

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