American Chemical Society
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A 3‑Ketoacyl-CoA Synthase 10 (KCS10) Homologue from Alfalfa Enhances Drought Tolerance by Regulating Cuticular Wax Biosynthesis

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-09-08, 16:09 authored by Yafang Wang, Yushi Liu, Xinya Pan, Yiqi Wan, Ziyan Li, Zhiguo Xie, Tianming Hu, Peizhi Yang
Cuticular wax, forming the first line of defense against adverse environmental stresses, comprises very long-chain fatty acids (VLCFAs) and their derivatives. 3-Ketoacyl-CoA synthase (KCS) is a rate-limiting enzyme for VLCFA biosynthesis. In this study, we isolated KCS10, a KCS gene from alfalfa, and analyzed the effect of gene expression on wax production and drought stress in transgenic plants. MsKCS10 overexpression increased compact platelet-like crystal deposition and promoted primary alcohol biosynthesis through acyl reduction pathways in alfalfa leaves. Overexpression of MsKCS10 induced the formation of coiled-rodlet-like crystals and increased n-alkane content through decarbonylation pathways in tobacco and tomato fruits. Overexpression of MsKCS10 enhanced drought tolerance by limiting nonstomatal water loss, improving photosynthesis, and maintaining osmotic potential under drought stress in transgenic tobacco. In summary, MsKCS10 plays an important role in wax biosynthesis, wax crystal morphology, and drought tolerance, although the mechanisms are different among the plant species. MsKCS10 can be targeted in future breeding programs to improve drought tolerance in plants.