Biotech Updates

Pyramiding of the HVA1 and mtlD in Maize Confers Drought and Salt Tolerance

November 6, 2013

Researchers from Michigan State University combined Hordeum vulgare  HVA1 from barley and the bacterial mannitol-1-phosphate dehydrogenase (mtlD) to confer abiotic stress tolerance in maize plants. Stable expressions of the transgenes were observed up to the fourth generation. The transgenic plants exhibited higher leaf relative water content (RWC) and greater plant survival compared with plants with single transgene and control plants exposed to drought conditions. When exposed to different salt concentrations, the transgenic plants with pyramided genes exhibited higher fresh and dry shoot and dry root matter compared with single transgene and non-trangenic plants. Based on the results, coexpression of the two abiotic stress tolerance genes is effective in conferring stress tolerance in maize. Thus, the authors recommend field trials to further test the application of the research.