Carotenoid biosynthesis genes LcLCYB, LcLCYE, and LcBCH from wolfberry confer increased carotenoid content and improved salt tolerance in tobacco

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Sci Rep. 2024 May 8;14(1):10586. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-60848-3.

ABSTRACT

Carotenoids play essential roles in plant growth and development and provide plants with a tolerance to a series of abiotic stresses. In this study, the function and biological significance of lycopene β-cyclase, lycopene ε-cyclase, and β-carotene hydroxylase, which are responsible for the modification of the tetraterpene skeleton procedure, were isolated from Lycium chinense and analyzed. The overexpression of lycopene β-cyclase, lycopene ε-cyclase, and β-carotene hydroxylase promoted the accumulation of total carotenoids and photosynthesis enhancement, reactive oxygen species scavenging activity, and proline content of tobacco seedlings after exposure to the salt stress. Furthermore, the expression of the carotenoid biosynthesis genes and stress-related genes (ascorbate peroxidase, catalase, peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, and pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductase) were detected and showed increased gene expression level, which were strongly associated with the carotenoid content and reactive oxygen species scavenging activity. After exposure to salt stress, the endogenous abscisic acid content was significantly increased and much higher than those in control plants. This research contributes to the development of new breeding aimed at obtaining stronger salt tolerance plants with increased total carotenoids and vitamin A content.

PMID:38719951 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-024-60848-3