Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Heat tolerance and expression of protein synthesis elongation factors, EF-Tu and EF-1α, in spring wheat

Urška Bukovnik A C , Jianming Fu A , Miranda Bennett A , P. V. Vara Prasad A and Zoran Ristic B D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Agronomy, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA.

B United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service, Plant Science and Entomology Research Unit, 4008 Throckmorton Hall, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA.

C Current address: Department of Biochemistry, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA.

D Corresponding author. Email: zoran.ristic@ars.usda.gov

Functional Plant Biology 36(3) 234-241 https://doi.org/10.1071/FP08266
Submitted: 17 October 2008  Accepted: 11 December 2008   Published: 2 March 2009

Abstract

Protein elongation factors, EF-Tu and EF-1α, have been implicated in cell response to heat stress. We investigated the expression (accumulation) of EF-Tu and EF-1α in mature plants of spring wheat cultivars Kukri and Excalibur, and tested the hypothesis that cultivars with contrasting tolerance to heat stress differ in the accumulation of these elongation factors under prolonged exposure to high temperature (16 days at 36/30°C). In addition, we investigated the expression of EF-Tu and EF-1α in young plants experiencing a 24-h heat shock (43°C). Excalibur showed better tolerance to heat stress than Kukri. Heat stress induced accumulation of EF-Tu and EF-1α in mature plants of both cultivars, but to a greater extent in Excalibur. Young plants did not show appreciable accumulation of EF-Tu in response to heat shock. However, these plants showed increased accumulation of EF-1α and the accumulation appeared greater in Excalibur than in Kukri. The results support the hypothesis that EF-Tu plays a role in heat tolerance in spring wheat. The results also suggest that EF-1α may be of importance to wheat response to heat stress.


Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to Dr Juan Juttner, Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia, for generously providing seeds of cultivars of spring wheat. The authors are also thankful to Dr Tom Cheesbrough, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD, and Dr Benjamin P. DeRidder, Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA for critical reading of the manuscript. This publication is approved as Kansas Agriculture Experiment Station No: 09–093-J. Mention of a trademark or proprietary product does not constitute a guarantee or warranty of the product by the United States Department of Agriculture, and does not imply its approval to the exclusion of other products which may also be suitable.


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