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Crop Biotech Update

Expression of Aquaporin gene in Salt-stressed Rice Pre-treated with Dopamine

February 6, 2013

One of the major problems in rice production is coping with saline soils. Thus, Amal Abdelkader from Ain Shams University in Egypt, together with other scientists, conducted a study to investigate the function of neurotransmitter dopamine in enhancing salinity tolerance of rice by adjusting the plasma membrane intrinsic proteins (PIPs).

Using RT-PCR, the expression of aquaporin gene (OsPIP1-s) was increased as a response to mild salt concentration. On the other hand, the expression of the gene was decreased in response to dopamine, which may imply that dopamine could have a regulatory role in water penetration. It was also observed that the content of pigment and proline was regulated significantly when the plants were pre-treated with dopamine before exposure to salt stress. Low membrane leakage was observed in salt stressed rice pre-treated with dopamine.

The researchers concluded that dopamine has a role in regulation of OsPIP1-s gene, which is concentration-dependent. It was recommended that pre-treatment of dopamine in low concentrations can be a cheap and potential mechanism to improve salt stress-tolerance in rice through the neurotransmitter's effect on plasma membrane aquaporins.

Read the abstract at http://www.pomics.com/abdelkader_5_6_2012_532_541.pdf.