Overexpression of LaGRAS enhances phosphorus acquisition via increased root growth of phosphorus-deficient white lupin

Mehtab Muhammad Aslam, Felix B. Fritschi, Di Zhang, Guanqun Wang, Haoxuan Li, Hon Ming Lam, Muhammad Waseem*, Weifeng Xu*, Jianhua Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


The GRAS transcription factors play an indispensable role in plant growth and responses to environmental stresses. The GRAS gene family has extensively been explored in various plant species; however, the comprehensive investigation of GRAS genes in white lupin remains insufficient. In this study, bioinformatics analysis of white lupin genome revealed 51 LaGRAS genes distributed into 10 distinct phylogenetic clades. Gene structure analyses revealed that LaGRAS proteins were considerably conserved among the same subfamilies. Notably, 25 segmental duplications and a single tandem duplication showed that segmental duplication was the major driving force for the expansion of GRAS genes in white lupin. Moreover, LaGRAS genes exhibited preferential expression in young cluster root and mature cluster roots and may play key roles in nutrient acquisition, particularly phosphorus (P). To validate this, RT-qPCR analysis of white lupin plants grown under +P (normal P) and −P (P deficiency) conditions elucidated significant differences in the transcript level of GRAS genes. Among them, LaGRAS38 and LaGRAS39 were identified as potential candidates with induced expression in MCR under −P. Additionally, white lupin transgenic hairy root overexpressing OE-LaGRAS38 and OE-LaGRAS39 showed increased root growth, and P concentration in root and leaf compared to those with empty vector control, suggesting their role in P acquisition. We believe this comprehensive analysis of GRAS members in white lupin is a first step in exploring their role in the regulation of root growth, tissue development, and ultimately improving P use efficiency in legume crops under natural environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13962
JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
Issue number4
Early online date21 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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