Biotech Updates

GmPIP1;6 Overexpression Improves Soybean Salt Tolerance

July 9, 2014

Aquaporins, involved in the main water transport pathway across plasma membranes in root and leaf tissues, are proposed to have a major role in growth of plants due to their influence on root water uptake and leaf gas exchange. Currently, a team of researchers from Zhejiang University in China has overexpressed the soybean aquaporin GmPIP1;6  to evaluate its function in growth regulation and salt tolerance in soybean.

GmPIP1;6 was found to be highly expressed in roots as well as reproductive tissues. Treatment with 100 mM NaCl resulted in reduced expression initially. However, after 3 days, its expression was increased in root and leaves. The effects of overexpression of GmPIP1;6 in soybean was examined under normal and salt stress conditions.

Growth was enhanced in the GmPIP1;6-overexpressing lines relative to wildtypes under salt stress conditions. GmPIP1;6-overexpressing plants maintained its root hydraulic conductance (Lo) under saline conditions compared to wildtypes with decreased Lo. Transgenic lines grown in the field had increased yield resulting mainly from increased seed size.

Results show that GmPIP1;6 could be a multifunctional aquaporin involved in root water transport, photosynthesis and seed loading and will be a vital gene for improving soybean.

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