Abiotic stresses pose adverse impact on plant growth and development and exploring the stress tolerance genes from dominant species is still urgent. The desert shrub, Haloxylon ammodendron, a C4 and succulent xero-halophyte species, has great drought and salt tolerance. Here, we reported the isolation and functions analysis of HaASR1 (abscisic acid, stress, and ripening) from H. ammodendron. HaASR1 interacts with HaPrxQ and HaBADH and may function in preventing PrxQ and BADH from denaturation in plants under drought stress. Overexpression of HaASR1 reduces the sensitivity of Arabidopsis plants to exogenous ABA and decreases the endogenous ABA level through down-regulating ABA biosynthesis genes under drought stress, which making the plants display less inhibition of shoot growth and enhanced drought tolerance. Overexpression of HaASR1 significantly enhances photosynthetic capacity of Arabidopsis plants under drought stress by reducing H2O2 accumulation through up-regulating AtCAT2, AtAPX1 and AtPrxQ and maintaining relatively integrity of chloroplasts. Overexpression of HaASR1 also significantly improves water-retaining ability. Taken together, we propose that HaASR1 plays critical roles in plant drought stress adaptation by making the plants partially defective in ABA signaling and participating in drought tolerance regulation through nonstomatal pathways, enhancing ROS-scavenging ability and water-retaining ability, which is different from the functions of previously reported ASR genes from other plant species. This research also reveals that HaASR1 gene from the desert shrub, Haloxylon ammodendron, has potential application values in improving abiotic stresses of other plant species by genetic engineering.
- Drought tolerance
- Haloxylon ammodendron