Image_4_Overexpression of DBF-Interactor Protein 6 Containing an R3H Domain Enhances Drought Tolerance in Populus L. (Populus tomentosa).TIF
Drought is the primary disaster that endangers agricultural production, including animal husbandry, and affects the distribution, growth, yield, and quality of crops. Previous study had revealed that DIP, as a potential regulator of DBF activity, played an important role in response to drought stress in maize. In this study, a total of 67 DIPs were identified from seventeen land plants, including six tobacco DIPs (NtDIPs). NtDIP6 gene was further selected as a candidate gene for subsequent experiments based on the phylogenetic analysis and structural analysis. The transgenic tobacco and poplar plants over-expressing NtDIP6 gene were generated using the Agrobacterium- mediated method. Although there was not phenotypic difference between transgenic plants and wild-type plants under normal conditions, overexpression of the NtDIP6 gene in transgenic tobacco and poplar plants enhanced the drought tolerance under drought treatments in comparison with the wild type. The content of antioxidant defense enzymes peroxidase (POD), catalase (CAT), and the photosynthetic rate increased in NtDIP6-Ox transgenic tobacco and poplar plants, while the content of malondialdehyde decreased, suggesting that the overexpression of NtDIP6 enhances the antioxidant capacity of transgenic poplar. Furthermore, the results of qRT-PCR showed that the level of expression of drought-related response genes significantly increased in the NtDIP6-Ox transgenic plants. These results indicated that NtDIP6, as a positive response regulator, improves drought stress tolerance by scavenging superoxide via the accumulation of antioxidant defense enzymes.