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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 167681, 12 pages
Research Article

Ethylene Response Factor Sl-ERF.B.3 Is Responsive to Abiotic Stresses and Mediates Salt and Cold Stress Response Regulation in Tomato

1Laboratoire de Morphogenèse et de Biotechnologie Végétale, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis (FST), Campus Universitaire 2092 El Manar Tunis, Tunisia
2Université Toulouse, INP ENSA Toulouse, 31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France
3INRA, 31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France
4LR Biotechnologie et Valorisation des Bio-Géo Ressources (LR11ES31), Institut Supérieur de Biotechnologie, Université de La Manouba Biotech Pole de Sidi Thabet, Sidi Thabet, 2020 Ariana, Tunisia

Received 27 March 2014; Revised 6 June 2014; Accepted 8 July 2014; Published 6 August 2014

Academic Editor: Chang Won Choi

Copyright © 2014 Imen Klay 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.


Sl-ERF.B.3 (Solanum lycopersicum ethylene response factor B.3) gene encodes for a tomato transcription factor of the ERF (ethylene responsive factor) family. Our results of real-time RT-PCR showed that Sl-ERF.B.3 is an abiotic stress responsive gene, which is induced by cold, heat, and flooding, but downregulated by salinity and drought. To get more insight into the role of Sl-ERF.B.3 in plant response to separate salinity and cold, a comparative study between wild type and two Sl-ERF.B.3 antisense transgenic tomato lines was achieved. Compared with wild type, Sl-ERF.B.3 antisense transgenic plants exhibited a salt stress dependent growth inhibition. This inhibition was significantly enhanced in shoots but reduced in roots, leading to an increased root to shoot ratio. Furthermore, the cold stress essay clearly revealed that introducing antisense Sl-ERF.B.3 in transgenic tomato plants reduces their cell injury and enhances their tolerance against 14 d of cold stress. All these results suggest that Sl-ERF.B.3 gene is involved in plant response to abiotic stresses and may play a role in the layout of stress symptoms under cold stress and in growth regulation under salinity.