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BMB Rep. 2014 Jan;47(1):27-32.

Over-expression of BvMTSH, a fusion gene for maltooligosyltrehalose synthase and maltooligosyltrehalose trehalohydrolase, enhances drought tolerance in transgenic rice.

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  • 1Division of Bioscience and Bioinformatics, Myongji University, Yongin 449-728, Korea


Plant abiotic stress tolerance has been modulated by engineering the trehalose synthesis pathway. However, many stress-tolerant plants that have been genetically engineered for the trehalose synthesis pathway also show abnormal development. The metabolic intermediate trehalose 6-phosphate has the potential to cause aberrations in growth. To avoid growth inhibition by trehalose 6-phosphate, we used a gene that encodes a bifunctional in-frame fusion (BvMTSH) of maltooligosyltrehalose synthase (BvMTS) and maltooligosyltrehalose trehalohydrolase (BvMTH) from the nonpathogenic bacterium Brevibacterium helvolum. BvMTS converts maltooligosaccharides into maltooligosyltrehalose and BvMTH releases trehalose. Transgenic rice plants that over-express BvMTSH under the control of the constitutive rice cytochrome c promoter (101MTSH) or the ABA-inducible Ai promoter (105MTSH) show enhanced drought tolerance without growth inhibition. Moreover, 101MTSH and 105MTSH showed an ABA-hyposensitive phenotype in the roots. Our results suggest that over-expression of BvMTSH enhances drought-stress tolerance without any abnormal growth and showes ABA hyposensitive phenotype in the roots.

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