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Crop Biotech Update

Researchers Find Gene Involved in Arsenic Resistance in Poplar

January 10, 2018

Arsenic pollution in soil has been a serious problem all over the world. Hence, it is very important to study plants' stress-response mechanisms for phytoremediation. The team of Yanli Liu from Chinese Academy of Sciences studied the arsenate-tolerant Populus deltoides and the arsenate-sensitive Populus × euramericana to search for the gene for arsenic resistance.

Comparisons between these two cultivars showed that P. deltoides exhibited lesser morphological and structural injury, lower ROS and MDA accumulation, and higher photosynthesis and ROS scavenging ability under arsenate stress compared to P. euramericana.

Analysis revealed that most of the identified arsenate-responsive proteins were stress and defense related. Among these proteins, PdDRT102 was found to be only highly induced in P. deltoides under arsenate stress. Heterologous overexpression of PdDRT102 in Arabidopsis also conferred enhanced tolerance to arsenate and sodium chloride.

Together, these results revealed that PdDRT102 is involved in protecting poplars against arsenate stress and could have the potential to be used for developing crops for phytoremediation against arsenic pollution.

For more information, read the article in Plant Cell Reports.