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Unraveling the Role of Major Facilitator Superfamily (MFS) Transporters in Plant Abiotic Stress Tolerance
Christina Paparokidou, 2014, final research report

Abstract: The yields of worldwide crop production are negatively affected by adverse environmental conditions, such as drought, salinity, heavy metal contamination and nutrient depletion in cultivated soils (Yan et al., 2013; Golldack et al., 2011; Yadav, 2010; Kobayashi and Nishizawa, 2012). This reduced crop production constitutes a major problem for food sustainability world-wide (Spiertz, 2013). Indeed, one of the major challenges for plant biotechnology will be to satisfy the increased demand for food on one hand, and to compensate for the loss of crop production on the other. Thus, the discovery of new plant genes that are able to cope with these conditions is critical and expected not only to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying crop abiotic stress, but also to pioneer genetic engineering strategies for improved crop productivity. The goal of this project was to identify novel genes belonging to the Major Facilitator Superfamily (MFS) of plant membrane transporters with potential major roles in conferring abiotic stress tolerance, namely to heavy metal, osmotic and iron deficiency stress. We selected three Arabidopsis thaliana MFS transporter genes, provisionally called MFS10, MFS11 and MFS12, which based on publicly available microarray data display specific expression patterns suggesting roles in plant tolerance to different abiotic stresses. RT-PCR analyses showed that in fact the MFS10 gene is highly induced by cadmium (Cd), selenium (Se), salt and mannitol, while the MFS11 gene is upregulated by abscisic acid (ABA) and glucose, and the MFS12 gene by iron (Fe) deficiency, ABA and glucose. Furthermore, subcellular localization of fluorescent reporter fusions indicated that the MFS10 and MFS11 gene products are both plasma membrane localized transporters, while the encoded product of the MFS12 gene appears to be an endoplasmic reticulum localized transporter. Finally, reverse genetics using a null mutant allele for the MFS10 gene demonstrated that it functions as a regulator of plant responses to hyperosmotic (drought and salt) stress.
Keywords: Major Facilitator Superfamily (MFS), abiotic stress tolerance, heavy metals, osmotic stress, ABA stress, iron deficiency, T-DNA insertion lines, RT-PCR, confocal microscopy.
Published in RUNG: 03.05.2022; Views: 1541; Downloads: 0
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