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International Journal of Genomics
Volume 2015, Article ID 875497, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/875497
Research Article

The SsDREB Transcription Factor from the Succulent Halophyte Suaeda salsa Enhances Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Transgenic Tobacco

1Provincial Key Laboratory of Agrobiology, Institute of Biotechnology, Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Nanjing 210014, China
2National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Germplasm Enhancement, Cytogenetics Institute, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China

Received 19 April 2015; Accepted 7 June 2015

Academic Editor: Marián Brestič

Copyright © 2015 Xu Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Dehydration-responsive element-binding (DREB) transcription factor (TF) plays a key role for abiotic stress tolerance in plants. In this study, a novel cDNA encoding DREB transcription factor, designated SsDREB, was isolated from succulent halophyte Suaeda salsa. This protein was classified in the A-6 group of DREB subfamily based on multiple sequence alignments and phylogenetic characterization. Yeast one-hybrid assays showed that SsDREB protein specifically binds to the DRE sequence and could activate the expression of reporter genes in yeast, suggesting that the SsDREB protein was a CBF/DREB transcription factor. Real-time RT-PCR showed that SsDREB was significantly induced under salinity and drought stress. Overexpression of SsDREB cDNA in transgenic tobacco plants exhibited an improved salt and drought stress tolerance in comparison to the nontransformed controls. The transgenic plants revealed better growth, higher chlorophyll content, and net photosynthesis rate, as well as higher level of proline and soluble sugars. The semiquantitative PCR of transgenics showed higher expression of stress-responsive genes. These data suggest that the SsDREB transcription factor is involved in the regulation of salt stress tolerance in tobacco by the activation of different downstream gene expression.