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Genetics. 2000 Jan;154(1):421-36.

Genetic analysis of salt-tolerant mutants in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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  • 1Divisi¿on de Gen¿etica, Universidad Miguel Hern¿andez, Campus de San Juan, 03550 Alicante, Spain.


Stress caused by the increased salinity of irrigated fields impairs plant growth and is one of the major constraints that limits crop productivity in many important agricultural areas. As a contribution to solving such agronomic problems, we have carried out a large-scale screening for Arabidopsis thaliana mutants induced on different genetic backgrounds by EMS treatment, fast neutron bombardment, or T-DNA insertions. From the 675,500 seeds we screened, 17 mutant lines were isolated, all but one of which yielded 25-70% germination levels on 250 mm NaCl medium, a condition in which their ancestor ecotypes are unable to germinate. Monogenic recessive inheritance of NaCl-tolerant germination was displayed with incomplete penetrance by all the selected mutants, which fell into five complementation groups. These were named SALOBRENO (SAN) and mapped relative to polymorphic microsatellites, the map positions of three of them suggesting that they are novel genes. Strains carrying mutations in the SAN1-SAN4 genes display similar responses to both ionic effects and osmotic pressure, their germination being NaCl and mannitol tolerant but KCl and Na(2)SO(4) sensitive. In addition, NaCl-, KCl-, and mannitol-tolerant as well as abscisic-acid-insensitive germination was displayed by sañ5, whose genetic and molecular characterization indicates that it carries an extremely hypomorphic or null allele of the ABI4 gene, its deduced protein product lacking the APETALA2 DNA binding domain.

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