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Open AccessArticle

Negative Roles of Strigolactone-Related SMXL6, 7 and 8 Proteins in Drought Resistance in Arabidopsis

Institute of Plant Stress Biology, State Key Laboratory of Cotton Biology, Department of Biology, Henan University, 85 Minglun Street, Kaifeng 475001, China
Stress Adaptation Research Unit, RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science, 1-7-22, Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi, Yokohama 230-0045, Japan
Agricultural Genetics Institute, Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Pham Van Dong Str., Hanoi 100000, Vietnam
Key Laboratory of Mollisols Agroecology, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, China
State Key Laboratory of Natural Medicines, Department of Pharmacognosy, Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing 210009, China
Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University, Uji, Kyoto 611-0011, Japan
Institute of Research and Development, Duy Tan University, 03 Quang Trung, Da Nang 550000, Vietnam
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biomolecules 2020, 10(4), 607;
Received: 12 March 2020 / Revised: 4 April 2020 / Accepted: 9 April 2020 / Published: 14 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytohormones)
Previous investigations have shown that the SUPPRESSORS OF MAX2 1-LIKE6, 7 and 8 (SMXL6, 7 and 8) proteins redundantly repress strigolactone (SL) signaling in plant growth and development. Recently, a growing body of evidence indicated that SLs positively regulate plant drought resistance through functional analyses of genes involved in SL biosynthesis and positive regulation of SL signaling. However, the functions of the SL-signaling negative regulators SMXL6, 7 and 8 in drought resistance and the associated mechanisms remain elusive. To reveal the functions of these SMXL proteins, we analyzed the drought-resistant phenotype of the triple smxl6,7,8 mutant plants and studied several drought resistance-related traits. Our results showed that the smxl6,7,8 mutant plants were more resistant to drought than wild-type plants. Physiological investigations indicated that the smxl6,7,8 mutant plants exhibited higher leaf surface temperature, reduced cuticle permeability, as well as decreases in drought-induced water loss and cell membrane damage in comparison with wild-type plants. Additionally, smxl6,7,8 mutant plants displayed an increase in anthocyanin biosynthesis during drought, enhanced detoxification capacity and increased sensitivity to abscisic acid in cotyledon opening and growth inhibition assays. A good correlation between the expression levels of some relevant genes and the examined physiological and biochemical traits was observed. Our findings together indicate that the SMXL6, 7 and 8 act as negative regulators of drought resistance, and that disruption of these SMXL genes in crops may provide a novel way to improve their drought resistance. View Full-Text
Keywords: strigolactone; SMXL; drought resistance; abscisic acid strigolactone; SMXL; drought resistance; abscisic acid
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Li, W.; Nguyen, K.H.; Tran, C.D.; Watanabe, Y.; Tian, C.; Yin, X.; Li, K.; Yang, Y.; Guo, J.; Miao, Y.; Yamaguchi, S.; Tran, L.-S.P. Negative Roles of Strigolactone-Related SMXL6, 7 and 8 Proteins in Drought Resistance in Arabidopsis. Biomolecules 2020, 10, 607.

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