The OsCPK4 gene is a member of the complex gene family of calcium-dependent protein kinases in rice (Oryza sativa). Here, we report that OsCPK4 expression is induced by high salinity, drought, and the phytohormone abscisic acid. Moreover, a plasma membrane localization of OsCPK4 was observed by transient expression assays of green fluorescent protein-tagged OsCPK4 in onion (Allium cepa) epidermal cells. Overexpression of OsCPK4 in rice plants significantly enhances tolerance to salt and drought stress. Knockdown rice plants, however, are severely impaired in growth and development. Compared with control plants, OsCPK4 overexpressor plants exhibit stronger water-holding capability and reduced levels of membrane lipid peroxidation and electrolyte leakage under drought or salt stress conditions. Also, salt-treated OsCPK4 seedlings accumulate less Na+ in their roots. We carried out microarray analysis of transgenic rice overexpressing OsCPK4 and found that overexpression of OsCPK4 has a low impact on the rice transcriptome. Moreover, no genes were found to be commonly regulated by OsCPK4 in roots and leaves of rice plants. A significant number of genes involved in lipid metabolism and protection against oxidative stress appear to be up-regulated by OsCPK4 in roots of overexpressor plants.Meanwhile, OsCPK4 overexpression has no effect on the expression of well-characterized abiotic stress-associated transcriptional regulatory networks (i.e. ORYZA SATIVA DEHYDRATION-RESPONSIVE ELEMENT BINDING PROTEIN1 and ORYZA SATIVA No Apical Meristem, Arabidopsis Transcription Activation Factor1-2, Cup-Shaped Cotyledon6 genes) and LATE EMBRYOGENESIS ABUNDANT genes in their roots. Taken together, our data show that OsCPK4 functions as a positive regulator of the salt and drought stress responses in rice via the protection of cellular membranes from stress-induced oxidative damage. © 2014 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2014|