Lipid transfer protein 3 as a target of MYB96 mediates freezing and drought stress in Arabidopsis
Several lipid-transfer proteins were reported to modulate the plant response to biotic stress; however, whether lipid-transfer proteins are also involved in abiotic stress remains unknown. This study characterized the function of a lipid-transfer protein, LTP3, during freezing and drought stress. LTP3 was expressed ubiquitously and the LTP3 protein was localized to the cytoplasm. A biochemical study showed that LTP3 was able to bind to lipids. Overexpression of LTP3 resulted in constitutively enhanced freezing tolerance without affecting the expression of CBFs and their target COR genes. Further analyses showed that LTP3 was positively regulated by MYB96 via the direct binding to the LTP3 promoter; consistently, transgenic plants overexpressing MYB96 exhibited enhanced freezing tolerance. This study also found that the loss-of-function mutant ltp3 was sensitive to drought stress, whereas overexpressing plants were drought tolerant, phenotypes reminiscent of myb96 mutant plants and MYB96-overexpressing plants. Taken together, these results demonstrate that LTP3 acts as a target of MYB96 to be involved in plant tolerance to freezing and drought stress.