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Crop Biotech Update

AtSTO1 Overexpression Leads to Enhanced Salt Tolerance in Poplar

October 15, 2014

One of the major abiotic stress conditions affecting the healthy growth of plants is salinity stress. Scientists Shaneka Lawson (USDA Forest Service) and Charles Michler (Purdue University) overexpressed Arabidopsis SALT TOLERANT1 (AtSTO1) gene in poplar to determine if the transgene would confer improved salt tolerance to the generated plants.

The results of the multiple greenhouse trials showed that transgenic poplar lines had increased levels of resistance to salt (sodium chloride) than the non-transgenic lines. Further analyses indicated a difference in the relative abundance of the STO1 transcript in the transgenics that coincided with tolerance to salt. Several physiological and morphological changes, including greater overall biomass, greater root biomass, improved photosynthesis, and greater pith size were more evident in the transgenics when compared to controls under salt stress conditions. Based on the results, overexpression of AtSTO1 enhances salt tolerance in poplar.

Read the abstract at http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11248-014-9808-x.