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Improvement of plant tolerance to drought stress by cotton tubby-like protein 30 through stomatal movement regulation
Journal of Advanced Research  (IF12.822),  Pub Date : 2022-06-20, DOI: 10.1016/j.jare.2022.06.007
Zhanshuai Li, Ji Liu, Meng Kuang, Chaojun Zhang, Qifeng Ma, Longyu Huang, Huiying Wang, Shuli Fan, Jun Peng


Cotton is a vital industrial crop that is gradually shifting to planting in arid areas. However, tubby-like proteins (TULPs) involved in plant response to various stresses are rarely reported in cotton. The present study exhibited that GhTULP30 transcription in cotton was induced by drought stress.


The present study demonstrated the improvement of plant tolerance to drought stress by GhTULP30 through regulation of stomatal movement.


GhTULP30 response to drought and salt stress was preliminarily confirmed by qRT-PCR and yeast stress experiments. Ectopic expression in Arabidopsis and endogenous gene silencing in cotton were used to determine stomatal movement. Yeast two-hybrid and spilt-luciferase were used to screen the interacting proteins.


Ectopic expression of GhTULP30 in yeast markedly improved yeast cell tolerance to salt and drought. Overexpression of GhTULP30 made Arabidopsis seeds more resistant to drought and salt stress during seed germination and increased the stomata closing speed of the plant under drought stress conditions. Silencing of GhTULP30 in cotton by virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) technology slowed down the closure speed of stomata under drought stress and decreased the length and width of the stomata. The trypan blue and diaminobenzidine staining exhibited the severity of leaf cell necrosis of GhTULP30-silenced plants. Additionally, the contents of proline, malondialdehyde, and catalase of GhTULP30-silenced plants exhibited significant variations, with obvious leaf wilting. Protein interaction experiments exhibited the interaction of GhTULP30 with GhSKP1B and GhXERICO.


GhTULP30 participates in plant response to drought stress. The present study provides a reference and direction for further exploration of TULP functions in cotton plants.