Abiotic Stress-Induced Actin-Depolymerizing Factor 3 From Deschampsia antarctica Enhanced Cold Tolerance When Constitutively Expressed in Rice

Mi Young Byun, Li Hua Cui, Andosung Lee, Hyung Geun Oh, Yo Han Yoo, Jungeun Lee, Woo Taek Kim, Hyoungseok Lee

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4 Citations (Scopus)


The Antarctic flowering plant Deschampsia antarctica is highly sensitive to climate change and has shown rapid population increases during regional warming of the Antarctic Peninsula. Several studies have examined the physiological and biochemical changes related to environmental stress tolerance that allow D. antarctica to colonize harsh Antarctic environments; however, the molecular mechanisms of its responses to environmental changes remain poorly understood. To elucidate the survival strategies of D. antarctica in Antarctic environments, we investigated the functions of actin depolymerizing factor (ADF) in this species. We identified eight ADF genes in the transcriptome that were clustered into five subgroups by phylogenetic analysis. DaADF3, which belongs to a monocot-specific clade together with cold-responsive ADF in wheat, showed significant transcriptional induction in response to dehydration and cold, as well as under Antarctic field conditions. Multiple drought and low-temperature responsive elements were identified as possible binding sites of C-repeat-binding factors in the promoter region of DaADF3, indicating a close relationship between DaADF3 transcription control and abiotic stress responses. To investigate the functions of DaADF3 related to abiotic stresses in vivo, we generated transgenic rice plants overexpressing DaADF3. These transgenic plants showed greater tolerance to low-temperature stress than the wild-type in terms of survival rate, leaf chlorophyll content, and electrolyte leakage, accompanied by changes in actin filament organization in the root tips. Together, our results imply that DaADF3 played an important role in the enhancement of cold tolerance in transgenic rice plants and in the adaptation of D. antarctica to its extreme environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number734500
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sept 28

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by “Post-Polar Genomics Project: Functional genomic study for securing of polar useful genes (PE21160),” funded by Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI), “Development of potential antibiotic compounds using polar organism resources (15250103, KOPRI Grant PM21030),” funded by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, Korea, and the Basic Science Research Program, Project No. 2018R1A6A1A03025607 through the National Research Foundation (NRF), funded by the Ministry of Education, Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2021 Byun, Cui, Lee, Oh, Yoo, Lee, Kim and Lee.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Plant Science


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