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Plant Mol Biol. 2015 May;88(1-2):41-52. doi: 10.1007/s11103-015-0305-2. Epub 2015 Mar 11.

Constitutive and stress-inducible overexpression of a native aquaporin gene (MusaPIP2;6) in transgenic banana plants signals its pivotal role in salt tolerance.

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Plant Cell Culture Technology Section, Nuclear Agriculture and Biotechnology Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai, 400 085, India.


High soil salinity constitutes a major abiotic stress and an important limiting factor in cultivation of crop plants worldwide. Here, we report the identification and characterization of a aquaporin gene, MusaPIP2;6 which is involved in salt stress signaling in banana. MusaPIP2;6 was firstly identified based on comparative analysis of stressed and non-stressed banana tissue derived EST data sets and later overexpression in transgenic banana plants was performed to study its tangible functions in banana plants. The overexpression of MusaPIP2;6 in transgenic banana plants using constitutive or inducible promoter led to higher salt tolerance as compared to equivalent untransformed control plants. Cellular localization assay performed using transiently transformed onion peel cells indicated that MusaPIP2;6 protein tagged with green fluorescent protein was translocated to the plasma membrane. MusaPIP2;6-overexpressing banana plants displayed better photosynthetic efficiency and lower membrane damage under salt stress conditions. Our results suggest that MusaPIP2;6 is involved in salt stress signaling and tolerance in banana.

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