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Biological Research

Print version ISSN 0716-9760


WANG, Xinbo et al. Knock-down the expression of TaH2B-7D using virus-induced gene silencing reduces wheat drought tolerance. Biol. Res. [online]. 2019, vol.52, 14.  Epub June 13, 2019. ISSN 0716-9760.


Drought is a major abiotic stress affecting global wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) production. Exploration of drought-tolerant genes is essential for the genetic improvement of drought tolerance in wheat. Previous studies have shown that some histone encoding genes are involved in plant drought tolerance. However, whether the H2B family genes are involved in drought stress response remains unclear.


Here, we identified a wheat histone H2B family gene, TaH2B-7D, which was significantly up-regulated under drought stress conditions. Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) technology was used to further verify the function of TaH2B-7D in wheat drought tolerance. The phenotypic and physiological changes were examined in the TaH2B-7D knock-down plants.


In the TaH2B-7D knock-down plants, relative electrolyte leakage rate and malonaldehyde (MDA) content significantly increased, while relative water content (RWC) and proline content significantly decreased compared with those in the non-knocked-down plants under drought stress conditions. TaH2B-7D knock-down plants exhibited severe sagging, wilting and dwarf phenotypes under drought stress conditions, but not in the non-knocked-down plants, suggesting that the former were more sensitive to drought stress.


These results indicate that TaH2B-7D potentially plays a vital role in conferring drought tolerance in wheat.

Keywords : Drought; Triticum aestivum L.; TaH2B-7D; Knock-down.

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