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FEBS Lett. 1999 Aug 20;457(1):80-4.

Improved germination under osmotic stress of tobacco plants overexpressing a cell wall peroxidase.

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Departamento de Bioquimica y Biologia Molecular, Universidad de Malaga, Spain.


The cell wall is a fundamental component in the response of plants to environmental changes. To directly assess the role of the cell wall we have increased the expression and activity of a cell wall associated peroxidase (TPX2), an enzyme involved in modifying cell wall architecture. Overexpression of TPX2 had no effect on wild-type development, but greatly increased the germination rate under high salt or osmotic stress. Differential scanning calorimetry showed that transgenic seeds were able to retain more water available for germination than wild-type seeds. Thermoporometry calculations indicated that this could be due to a lower mean pore size in the walls of transgenic seeds. Therefore, the higher capacity of transgenic seeds in retaining water could result in higher germination rates in conditions where the availability of water is restricted.

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