Over-Expression of SlSHN1 Gene Improves Drought Tolerance by Increasing Cuticular Wax Accumulation in Tomato
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Ayed Al-Abdallat, Hmoud Al-Debei, Jamal Yousef Ayad, Shireen Hasan. (28/10/2014). Over-Expression of SlSHN1 Gene Improves Drought Tolerance by Increasing Cuticular Wax Accumulation in Tomato. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 15, pp. 19499-19515.
Increasing cuticular wax accumulation in plants has been associated with improving drought tolerance in plants. In this study, a cDNA clone encoding the SlSHN1 transcription factor, the closest ortholog to WIN/SHN1 gene in Arabidopsis, was isolated from tomato plant. Expression analysis of SlSHN1 indicated that it is induced in response to drought conditions. The over-expression of SlSHN1 in tomato under the control of the constitutive CaMV 35S promoter produced plants that showed mild growth retardation phenotype with shiny and dark green leaves. Scanning electron microscopy showed that the over-expression of SlSHN1 in tomato resulted in higher cuticular wax deposition on leaf epidermial tissue when compared to non-transformed plants. Expression analysis in transgenic lines over-expressing SlSHN1 indicated that several wax-related synthesis genes were induced. Transgenic tomato plants over-expressing SlSHN1 showed higher drought tolerance when compared with wild type plants; this was reflected in delayed wilting of transgenic lines, improved water status and reduced water loss rate when compared with wild type plants. In conclusion, the SlSHN1 gene can modulate wax accumulation and could be utilized to enhance drought tolerance in tomato plant