OsLEA3-2, an Abiotic Stress Induced Gene of Rice Plays a Key Role in Salt and Drought Tolerance

>Late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins are involved in tolerance to drought, cold and high salinity in many different organisms. In this report, a LEA protein producing full-length gene OsLEA3-2 was identified in rice (Oryza sativa) using the Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends (RACE) method. OsLEA3-2 was found to be only expressed in the embryo and can be induced by abiotic stresses. The coding protein localizes to the nucleus and overexpression of OsLEA3-2 in yeast improved growth performance compared with control under salt- and osmotic-stress conditions. OsLEA3-2 was also inserted into pHB vector and overexpressed in Arabidopsis and rice. The transgenic Arabidopsis seedlings showed better growth on MS media supplemented with 150 mM mannitol or 100 mM NaCl as compared with wild type plants. The transgenic rice also showed significantly stronger growth performance than control under salinity or osmotic stress conditions and were able to recover after 20 days of drought stress. In vitro analysis showed that OsLEA3-2 was able to protect LDH from aggregation on freezing and inactivation on desiccation. These results indicated that OsLEA3-2 plays an important role in tolerance to abiotic stresses.

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Source URL:http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0045117