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Plant Biotechnology Journal








Flavodoxin (Fld) plays a pivotal role in photosynthetic microorganisms as an alternative electron carrier flavoprotein under adverse environmental conditions. Cyanobacterial Fld has been demonstrated to be able to substitute ferredoxin (Fd) of higher plants in most electron transfer processes under stressful conditions. We have explored the potential of Fld for use in improving plant stress response in creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.). Overexpression of Fld altered plant growth and development. Most significantly, transgenic (TG) plants exhibited drastically enhanced performance under oxidative, drought and heat stress as well as nitrogen (N) starvation, which was associated with higher water retention and cell membrane integrity than wild type controls, modified expression of heat shock protein (HSP) genes, production of more reduced thioredoxin (Trx), elevated N accumulation and total chlorophyll content as well as up-regulated expression of nitrite reductase and N transporter genes. Further analysis revealed that the expression of other stress-related genes was also impacted in Fld-expressing transgenics. Our data establish a key role of Fld in modulating plant growth and development and plant response to multiple sources of adverse environmental conditions in crop species. This demonstrates the feasibility of manipulating Fld in crop species for genetic engineering of plant stress tolerance.


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