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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(1), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20010133

Comprehensive Analysis of the Cadmium Tolerance of Abscisic Acid-, Stress- and Ripening-Induced Proteins (ASRs) in Maize

National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Germplasm Enhancement, College of Life Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Received: 8 December 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 25 December 2018 / Published: 1 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Transporters and Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Plants)
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Abstract

In plants, abscisic acid-, stress-, and ripening-induced (ASR) proteins have been shown to impart tolerance to multiple abiotic stresses such as drought and salinity. However, their roles in metal stress tolerance are poorly understood. To screen plant Cd-tolerance genes, the yeast-based gene hunting method which aimed to screen Cd-tolerance colonies from maize leaf cDNA library hosted in yeast was carried out. Here, maize ZmASR1 was identified to be putative Cd-tolerant through this survival screening strategy. In silico analysis of the functional domain organization, phylogenetic classification and tissue-specific expression patterns revealed that maize ASR1 to ASR5 are typical ASRs with considerable expression in leaves. Further, four of them were cloned for testifying Cd tolerance using yeast complementation assay. The results indicated that they all confer Cd tolerance in Cd-sensitive yeast. Then they were transiently expressed in tobacco leaves for subcellular localization analysis and for Cd-challenged lesion assay, continuously. The results demonstrated that all 4 maize ASRs tested are localized to the cell nucleus and cytoplasm in tobacco leaves. Moreover, they were confirmed to be Cd-tolerance genes in planta through lesion analysis in Cd-infiltrated leaves transiently expressing them. Taken together, our results demonstrate that maize ASRs play important roles in Cd tolerance, and they could be used as promising candidate genes for further functional studies toward improving the Cd tolerance in plants. View Full-Text
Keywords: ABA-stress-ripening (ASR); subcellular localization; cadmium stress; maize ABA-stress-ripening (ASR); subcellular localization; cadmium stress; maize
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Zhang, J.; Zhu, Q.; Yu, H.; Li, L.; Zhang, G.; Chen, X.; Jiang, M.; Tan, M. Comprehensive Analysis of the Cadmium Tolerance of Abscisic Acid-, Stress- and Ripening-Induced Proteins (ASRs) in Maize. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 133.

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