Overexpression of DnaK from a halotolerant cyanobacterium Aphanothece halophytica enhances growth rate as well as abiotic stress tolerance of poplar plants

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Abstract

The DnaK/Hsp70 family is a molecular chaperone that binds non-native states of other proteins, and concerns to various physiological processes in the bacterial, plant and animal cells. Previously, we showed that overexpression of DnaK from a halotolerant cyanobacterium Aphanothece halophytica (ApDnaK) enhances tolerance to abiotic stresses such as high salinity and high temperature in tobacco plants. Here, we tested the transformation of poplar (Populus alba) with ApDnaK for enhancing the growth of transformed poplar plants. Under control growth conditions, transgenic poplar plants exhibited similar growth rates with the wild-type plants during young seedlings under low light intensity, whereas they showed faster growth, larger plant size, and higher cellulose contents when poplar plants were grown under high light intensity. Transgenic young poplar plants exhibited more rapid recovery from the stresses of high salinity, drought, and low temperature compared with those of the wild type plants when poplar plants were grown under low light intensity. These results suggest that ApDnaK could be useful to enhance the growth rate as well as to increase the stress tolerance.

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