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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 28;8(6):e67462. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067462. Print 2013.

Overexpression of TaLEA gene from Tamarix androssowii improves salt and drought tolerance in transgenic poplar (Populus simonii × P. nigra).

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1
State Key Laboratory of Tree Genetics and Breeding, Research Institute of Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing, China.

Abstract

Late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) genes were confirmed to confer resistance to drought and water deficiency. An LEA gene from Tamarixandrossowii (named TaLEA) was transformed into Xiaohei poplar (Populussimonii × P. nigra) via Agrobacterium. Twenty-five independent transgenic lines were obtained that were resistant to kanamycin, and 11 transgenic lines were randomly selected for further analysis. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) gel blot indicated that the TaLEA gene had been integrated into the poplar genome. The height growth rate, malondialdehyde (MDA) content, relative electrolyte leakage and damages due to salt or drought to transgenic and non-transgenic plants were compared under salt and drought stress conditions. The results showed that the constitutive expression of the TaLEA gene in transgenic poplars could induce an increase in height growth rate and a decrease in number and severity of wilted leaves under the salt and drought stresses. The MDA content and relative electrolyte leakage in transgenic lines under salt and drought stresses were significantly lower compared to those in non-transgenic plants, indicating that the TaLEA gene may enhance salt and drought tolerance by protecting cell membranes from damage. Moreover, amongst the lines analyzed for stress tolerance, the transgenic line 11 (T11) showed the highest tolerance levels under both salinity and drought stress conditions. These results indicated that the TaLEA gene could be a salt and drought tolerance candidate gene and could confer a broad spectrum of tolerance under abiotic stresses in poplars.

PMID:
23840708
PMCID:
PMC3696074
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0067462
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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