Journal of experimental botany

An ABA-responsive DRE-binding protein gene from Setaria italica, SiARDP, the target gene of SiAREB, plays a critical role under drought stress.

PMID 25071221


The DREB (dehydration-responsive element binding)-type transcription factors regulate the expression of stress-inducible genes by binding the DRE/CRT cis-elements in promoter regions. The upstream transcription factors that regulate the transcription of DREB transcription factors have not been clearly defined, although the function of DREB transcription factors in abiotic stress is known. In this study, an abscisic acid (ABA)-responsive DREB-binding protein gene (SiARDP) was cloned from foxtail millet (Setaria italica). The transcript level of SiARDP increased not only after drought, high salt, and low temperature stresses, but also after an ABA treatment in foxtail millet seedlings. Two ABA-responsive elements (ABRE1: ACGTGTC; ABRE2: ACGTGGC) exist in the promoter of SiARDP. Further analyses showed that two ABA-responsive element binding (AREB)-type transcription factors, SiAREB1 and SiAREB2, could physically bind to the ABRE core element in vitro and in vivo. The constitutive expression of SiARDP in Arabidopsis thaliana enhanced drought and salt tolerance during seed germination and seedling development, and overexpression of SiARDP in foxtail millet improved drought tolerance. The expression levels of target genes of SiARDP were upregulated in transgenic Arabidopsis and foxtail millet. These results reveal that SiARDP, one of the target genes of SiAREB, is involved in ABA-dependent signal pathways and plays a critical role in the abiotic stress response in plants.