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BMC Plant Biol. 2019 Aug 16;19(1):357. doi: 10.1186/s12870-019-1963-z.

Improving salt tolerance in potato through overexpression of AtHKT1 gene.

Author information

1
Gansu Provincial Key Laboratory of Aridland Crop Science, Gansu Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic and Germplasm Enhancement, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou, 730070, China.
2
College of Life Science and Technology, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou, China.
3
Longdong University, Qingyang, 745000, Gansu, China.
4
Institute of Soil, Fertilizer and Water-saving Agriculture, Gansu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Lanzhou, 730070, China.
5
College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou, 730070, China.
6
Gansu Provincial Key Laboratory of Aridland Crop Science, Gansu Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic and Germplasm Enhancement, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou, 730070, China. zhangjunlian77@163.com.
7
College of Horticulture, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou, 730070, China. zhangjunlian77@163.com.
8
College of Agronomy, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou, 730070, China.
9
Swift Current Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Swift Current, SK, S9H 3X2, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Survival of plants in response to salinity stress is typically related to Na+ toxicity, but little is known about how heterologous high-affinity potassium transporter (HKT) may help alleviate salt-induced damages in potato (Solanum tuberosum L.).

RESULTS:

In this study, we used the Arabidopsis thaliana high-affinity potassium transporter gene (AtHKT1) to enhance the capacity of potato plants to tolerate salinity stress by decreasing Na+ content and improving K+/Na+ ratio in plant leaves, while maintaining osmotic balance. Seven AtHKT1 transformed potato lines (namely T1, T2, T3, T5, T11, T13 and T15) were compared with non-transgenic control plant at molecule and whole-plant levels. The lines T3 and T13 had the highest AtHKT1 expression with the tolerance index (an quantitative assessment) being 6.8 times that of the control. At 30 days under 100 and 150 mmol L- 1 NaCl stress treatments, the T3 and T13 lines had least reductions in net photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance and transpiration rate among the seven lines, leading to the increased water use efficiency and decreased yield loss.

CONCLUSIONS:

We conclude that the constitutive overexpression of AtHKT1 reduces Na+ accumulation in potato leaves and promotes the K+/Na+ homeostasis that minimizes osmotic imbalance, maintains photosynthesis and stomatal conductance, and increases plant productivity.

KEYWORDS:

AtHKT1 gene; K+/Na+ ratio; Photosynthetic rate; Solanum tuberosum; Stomatal conductance; Transpiration rate

PMID:
31419943
PMCID:
PMC6697938
DOI:
10.1186/s12870-019-1963-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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