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Mol Biotechnol. 2013 Jun;54(2):292-303. doi: 10.1007/s12033-012-9567-y.

The Xerophyta viscosa aldose reductase (ALDRXV4) confers enhanced drought and salinity tolerance to transgenic tobacco plants by scavenging methylglyoxal and reducing the membrane damage.

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School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.


We report the efficacy of an aldose reductase (ALDRXV4) enzyme from Xerophyta viscosa Baker in enhancing the prospects of plant's survival under abiotic stress. Transgenic tobacco plants overexpressing ALDRXV4 cDNA showed alleviation of NaCl and mannitol-induced abiotic stress. The transgenic plants survived longer periods of water deficiency and salinity stress and exhibited improved recovery after rehydration as compared to the wild type plants. The increased synthesis of aldose reductase in transgenic plants correlated with reduced methylglyoxal and malondialdehyde accumulation and an elevated level of sorbitol under stress conditions. In addition, the transgenic lines showed better photosynthetic efficiency, less electrolyte damage, greater water retention, higher proline accumulation, and favorable ionic balance under stress conditions. Together, these findings suggest the potential of engineering aldose reductase levels for better performance of crop plants growing under drought and salt stress conditions.

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