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The MYB33, MYB65, and MYB101 transcription factors affect Arabidopsis and potatoresponses to drought by regulating the ABA signaling pathway

By Anna Wyrzykowska, Dawid Bielewicz, Patrycja Plewka, Dorota Soltys-Kalina, Iwona Wasilewicz-Flis, Waldemar Marczewski, Artur Jarmolowski, Zofia Szweykowska-Kulinska

Posted 07 Apr 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.04.07.438025

Aims: Drought is a climate threat limiting crop production. Potato is one of the four most important food crops worldwide and is sensitive to water shortage. The CBP80 gene was shown to affect plant response to drought by regulating the level of microRNA159, and, consequently, the levels of the MYB33 and MYB101 transcription factors. (TF) Our studies aimed to show whether indeed the level of MYB33, MYB65, and MYB101 TFs affects plant response to water shortage. Methods: Arabidopsis transgenic plants exhibiting downregulation and Arabidopsis and potato transgenic plants exhibiting overexpression of selected MYB TFs were obtained. Plants response to drought was mainly measured using relative water content (RWC) and stomata closure upon exogenous ABA. Results: Three MYB TFs studied are involved in plant response to drought. When downregulated in Arabidopsis, the MYB33, MYB65 and MYB101 genes cause stomatal hyposensitivity to ABA, leading to reduced tolerance to drought. Transgenic Arabidopsis and potato plants overexpressing a mutated version of these genes with changed miR159 recognition site, show hypersensitivity to ABA and relatively high tolerance to drought conditions. Conclusions: The MYB33, MYB65, and MYB101 genes are good be potential targets for innovative breeding to obtain crops with relatively high tolerance to drought.

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