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Open AccessArticle

Priming with a Seaweed Extract Strongly Improves Drought Tolerance in Arabidopsis

by 1,2, 1,3, 1, 4,5, 2,* and 1,3,4,*
1
Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam, Karl Liebknecht Str. 24-25, 14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany
2
BioAtlantis Ltd., Clash Industrial Estate, V92 RWV5 Tralee, Ireland
3
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Am Mühlenberg 1, 14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany
4
Center of Plant Systems Biology and Biotechnology (CPSBB), 139 Ruski Blvd., 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria
5
Department of Plant Physiology and Molecular Biology, University of Plovdiv, 24 Tsar Assen Str., 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vicent Arbona
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(3), 1469; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22031469
Received: 20 December 2020 / Revised: 26 January 2021 / Accepted: 27 January 2021 / Published: 2 February 2021
Drought represents a major threat to plants in natural ecosystems and agricultural settings. The biostimulant Super Fifty (SF), produced from the brown alga Ascophyllum nodosum, enables ecologically friendly stress mitigation. We investigated the physiological and whole-genome transcriptome responses of Arabidopsis thaliana to drought stress after a treatment with SF. SF strongly decreased drought-induced damage. Accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which typically stifle plant growth during drought, was reduced in SF-primed plants. Relative water content remained high in SF-treated plants, whilst ion leakage, a measure of cell damage, was reduced compared to controls. Plant growth requires a functional shoot apical meristem (SAM). Expression of a stress-responsive negative growth regulator, RESPONSIVE TO DESICCATION 26 (RD26), was repressed by SF treatment at the SAM, consistent with the model that SF priming maintains the function of the SAM during drought stress. Accordingly, expression of the cell cycle marker gene HISTONE H4 (HIS4) was maintained at the SAMs of SF-primed plants, revealing active cell cycle progression after SF priming during drought. In accordance with this, CYCP2;1, which promotes meristem cell division, was repressed by drought but enhanced by SF. SF also positively affected stomatal behavior to support the tolerance to drought stress. Collectively, our data show that SF priming mitigates multiple cellular processes that otherwise impair plant growth under drought stress, thereby providing a knowledge basis for future research on crops. View Full-Text
Keywords: abiotic stress; Ascophyllum nodosum; drought; priming; reactive oxygen species abiotic stress; Ascophyllum nodosum; drought; priming; reactive oxygen species
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rasul, F.; Gupta, S.; Olas, J.J.; Gechev, T.; Sujeeth, N.; Mueller-Roeber, B. Priming with a Seaweed Extract Strongly Improves Drought Tolerance in Arabidopsis. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 1469. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22031469

AMA Style

Rasul F, Gupta S, Olas JJ, Gechev T, Sujeeth N, Mueller-Roeber B. Priming with a Seaweed Extract Strongly Improves Drought Tolerance in Arabidopsis. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021; 22(3):1469. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22031469

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rasul, Fiaz; Gupta, Saurabh; Olas, Justyna J.; Gechev, Tsanko; Sujeeth, Neerakkal; Mueller-Roeber, Bernd. 2021. "Priming with a Seaweed Extract Strongly Improves Drought Tolerance in Arabidopsis" Int. J. Mol. Sci. 22, no. 3: 1469. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22031469

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