Catharanthus roseus is an important source of pharmaceutically important Monoterpenoid Indole Alkaloids (MIAs). Accumulation of many of the MIAs is induced in response to abiotic stresses such as wound, ultra violet (UV) irradiations, etc. Recently, we have demonstrated a possible role of CrMPK3, a C. roseus mitogen-activated protein kinase in stress-induced accumulation of a few MIAs. Here, we extend our findings using Saccharomyces cerevisiae to investigate the role of CrMPK3 in giving tolerance to abiotic stresses. Yeast cells transformed with CrMPK3 was found to show enhanced tolerance to UV and heat stress. Comparison of CrMPK3 and SLT2, a MAPK from yeast shows high-sequence identity particularly at conserved domains. Additionally, heat stress is also shown to activate a 43 kDa MAP kinase, possibly CrMPK3 in C. roseus leaves. These findings indicate the role of CrMPK3 in stress-induced MIA accumulation as well as in stress tolerance.
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