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Expression of a Tardigrade Dsup Gene Enhances Genome Protection in Plants.

Authors
  • Kirke, Justin1
  • Jin, Xiao-Lu1
  • Zhang, Xing-Hai2
  • 1 Department of Biological Sciences, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, 33431, USA.
  • 2 Department of Biological Sciences, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, 33431, USA. [email protected]
Type
Published Article
Journal
Molecular biotechnology
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2020
Volume
62
Issue
11-12
Pages
563–571
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s12033-020-00273-9
PMID: 32955680
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

DNA damage is one of the most impactful events in living organisms, leading to DNA sequence changes (mutation) and disruption of biological processes. A study has identified a protein called Damage Suppressor Protein (Dsup) in the tardigrade Ramazzotius varieornatus that has shown to reduce the effects of radiation damage in human cell cultures (Hashimoto in Nature Communications 7:12808, 2016). We have generated tobacco plants that express the codon-optimized tardigrade Dsup gene and examined their responses when treated with mutagenic chemicals, ultraviolet (UV) and ionizing radiations. Our studies showed that compared to the control plants, the Dsup-expressing plants grew better in the medium containing mutagenic ethylmethane sulfonate (EMS). RT-qPCR detected distinct expression patterns of endogenous genes involved in DNA damage response and repair in the Dsup plants in response to EMS, bleomycin, UV-C and X-ray radiations. Comet assays revealed that the nuclei from the Dsup plants appeared more protected from UV and X-ray damages than the control plants. Overall, our studies demonstrated that Dsup gene expression enhanced tolerance of plants to genomutagenic stress. We suggest the feasibility of exploring genetic resources from extremotolerant species such as tardigrades to impart plants with tolerance to stressful environments for future climate changes and human space endeavors.

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