Solanum lycopersicum agamous-like MADS-box protein AGL15-like gene, SlMBP11, confers salt stress tolerance
Functional analyses of MADS-box transcription factors in plants have unraveled their role in major developmental programs (e.g. flowering and floral organ identity) as well as stress-related developmental processes, such as abscission, fruit ripening, and senescence. Overexpression of the rice (Oryza sativa) MADS26 gene in rice has revealed a possible function related to stress response. Here, we show that OsMADS26-down-regulated plants exhibit enhanced resistance against two major rice pathogens: Magnaporthe oryzae and Xanthomonas oryzae. Despite this enhanced resistance to biotic stresses, OsMADS26-down-regulated plants also displayed enhanced tolerance to water deficit. These phenotypes were observed in both controlled and field conditions. Interestingly, alteration of OsMADS26 expression does not have a strong impact on plant development. Gene expression profiling revealed that a majority of genes misregulated in overexpresser and down-regulated OsMADS26 lines compared with control plants are associated to biotic or abiotic stress response. Altogether, our data indicate that OsMADS26 acts as an upstream regulator of stress-associated genes and thereby, a hub to modulate the response to various stresses in the rice plant.