Overexpression of the NAC transcription factor JUNGBRUNNEN1 (JUB1) increases salinity tolerance in tomato.


King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Division of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia; Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany. Electronic address: [Email]


Soil salinity is a major abiotic stress affecting plant growth and yield, due to both osmotic and ionic stresses. JUBGBRUNNEN1 (JUB1) is a NAC family transcription factor that has been shown to be involved in responses to abiotic stresses, such as water deficit, osmotic, salinity, heat and oxidative stress. In Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis), JUB1 has been shown to improve plant stress tolerance by regulating H2O2 levels. In the horticultural crop, Solanum lycopersicum cv. Moneymaker (tomato), overexpression of AtJUB1 has been shown to partially alleviate water deficit stress at the vegetative stage. In this study, we investigated the effect of Arabidopsis JUB1 overexpression in salinity tolerance in tomato. In hydroponically grown tomato seedlings, AtJUB1 overexpression results in higher prolines levels and improves the maintenance of water content in the plant under salinity stress. The transgenic tomato plants are more tolerant to salinity stress compared to control lines based on plant biomass. However, at the reproductive stage, we found that overexpression of AtJUB1 only provided marginal improvements in yield-related parameters, in the conditions used for the current work. The combination of improved water deficit and salinity stress tolerance conferred by AtJUB1 overexpression may be beneficial when tomato plants are grown in the field under marginal environments.


Hydroponics,JUB1,NAC transcription factor,Salinity tolerance,Salt stress,Tomato,