J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2023, Vol. 65 ›› Issue (7): 1636-1650.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13474

• Abiotic Stress Responses • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Zinc-finger protein GmZF351 improves both salt and drought stress tolerance in soybean

Wei Wei1†, Long Lu2†, Xiao‐Hua Bian1†, Qing‐Tian Li1, Jia‐Qi Han1,3, Jian‐Jun Tao1, Cui‐Cui Yin1, Yong‐Cai Lai4, Wei Li4, Ying‐Dong Bi4, Wei‐Qun Man5, Shou‐Yi Chen1*, Jin‐Song Zhang1,3* and Wan‐Ke Zhang1*   

  1. 1. State Key Lab of Plant Genomics, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, INASEED, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Key Lab of Ministry of Education for Genetics, Breeding and Multiple Utilization of Crops, College of Crop Sciences, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China;
    3. College of Advanced Agricultural Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    4. Institute of Farming and Cultivation, Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Harbin 150086, China;
    5. Institute of Soybean Research, Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Harbin 150086, China
    These authors contributed equally to this work.
    *Correspondences: Shou‐Yi Chen (sychen@genetics.ac.cn); Jin‐Song Zhang (jszhang@genetics.ac.cn); Wan‐Ke Zhang (wkzhang@genetics.ac.cn; Dr. Zhang is responsible for the distribution of the materials associated with this article)
  • Received:2023-01-28 Accepted:2023-03-03 Online:2023-03-03 Published:2023-07-01

Abstract: Abiotic stress is one of the most important factors reducing soybean yield. It is essential to identify regulatory factors contributing to stress responses. A previous study found that the tandem CCCH zinc-finger protein GmZF351 is an oil level regulator. In this study, we discovered that the GmZF351 gene is induced by stress and that the overexpression of GmZF351 confers stress tolerance to transgenic soybean. GmZF351 directly regulates the expression of GmCIPK9 and GmSnRK, leading to stomata closing, by binding to their promoter regions, which carry two CT(G/C)(T/A)AA elements. Stress induction of GmZF351 is mediated through reduction in the H3K27me3 level at the GmZF351 locus. Two JMJ30-demethylase-like genes, GmJMJ30-1 and GmJMJ30-2, are involved in this demethylation process. Overexpression of GmJMJ30-1/2 in transgenic hairy roots enhances GmZF351 expression mediated by histone demethylation and confers stress tolerance to soybean. Yield-related agronomic traits were evaluated in stable GmZF351-transgenic plants under mild drought stress conditions. Our study reveals a new mode of GmJMJ30-GmZF351 action in stress tolerance, in addition to that of GmZF351 in oil accumulation. Manipulation of the components in this pathway is expected to improve soybean traits and adaptation under unfavorable environments.

Key words: abiotic stress, histone demethylation, JMJ30, soybean, TZF protein

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