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Open AccessArticle

Barley Plants Overexpressing Ferrochelatases (HvFC1 and HvFC2) Show Improved Photosynthetic Rates and Have Reduced Photo-Oxidative Damage under Drought Stress than Non-Transgenic Controls

1
School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide, Waite Campus, PMB1, Glen Osmond SA 5064, Australia
2
Unité Mixte de Recherche 759 Laboratoire d’Ecophysiologie des Plantes sous Stress Environnementaux, INRAE, F–34060 Montpellier, France
3
CSIRO Agriculture & Food, Locked Bag 2, Glen Osmond SA 5064, Australia
4
Wheat Initiative, Julius-Kühn-Institute, Königin-Luise-Str 19, 14195 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(9), 1351; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10091351
Received: 14 August 2020 / Revised: 30 August 2020 / Accepted: 3 September 2020 / Published: 8 September 2020
We investigated the roles of two Ferrochelatases (FCs), which encode the terminal enzyme for heme biosynthesis, in drought and oxidative stress tolerance in model cereal plant barley (Hordeum vulgare). Three independent transgenic lines ectopically overexpressing either barley FC1 or FC2 were selected and evaluated under well-watered, drought, and oxidative stress conditions. Both HvFC1 and HvFC2 overexpressing transgenics showed delayed wilting and maintained higher photosynthetic performance relative to controls, after exposure to soil dehydration. In each case, HvFC overexpression significantly upregulated the nuclear genes associated with detoxification of reactive oxygen species (ROS) upon drought stress. Overexpression of HvFCs, also suppressed photo-oxidative damage induced by the deregulated tetrapyrrole biosynthesis mutant tigrinad12. Previous studies suggest that only FC1 is implicated in stress defense responses, however, our study demonstrated that both FC1 and FC2 affect drought stress tolerance. As FC-derived free heme was proposed as a chloroplast-to-nuclear signal, heme could act as an important signal, stimulating drought responsive nuclear gene expression. This study also highlighted tetrapyrrole biosynthetic enzymes as potential targets for engineering improved crop performance, both in well-watered and water-limited environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: tetrapyrrole; ferrochelatase; heme; barley; ROS; photosynthesis; drought; retrograde signal tetrapyrrole; ferrochelatase; heme; barley; ROS; photosynthesis; drought; retrograde signal
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nagahatenna, D.S.K.; Parent, B.; Edwards, E.J.; Langridge, P.; Whitford, R. Barley Plants Overexpressing Ferrochelatases (HvFC1 and HvFC2) Show Improved Photosynthetic Rates and Have Reduced Photo-Oxidative Damage under Drought Stress than Non-Transgenic Controls. Agronomy 2020, 10, 1351. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10091351

AMA Style

Nagahatenna DSK, Parent B, Edwards EJ, Langridge P, Whitford R. Barley Plants Overexpressing Ferrochelatases (HvFC1 and HvFC2) Show Improved Photosynthetic Rates and Have Reduced Photo-Oxidative Damage under Drought Stress than Non-Transgenic Controls. Agronomy. 2020; 10(9):1351. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10091351

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nagahatenna, Dilrukshi S.K.; Parent, Boris; Edwards, Everard J.; Langridge, Peter; Whitford, Ryan. 2020. "Barley Plants Overexpressing Ferrochelatases (HvFC1 and HvFC2) Show Improved Photosynthetic Rates and Have Reduced Photo-Oxidative Damage under Drought Stress than Non-Transgenic Controls" Agronomy 10, no. 9: 1351. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10091351

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