Biotech Updates

LEA Protein from Desert Grass Confers Stress Tolerance in Arabidopsis

December 2, 2015

Late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins were confirmed to be involved in conferring tolerance to drought, cold and high salinity in different organisms. Lanzhou University's Jiyu Zhang led a team of researchers in the isolation and characterization of the gene CsLEA encoding a LEA protein from the desert grass Cleistogenes songorica.

Analysis showed that CsLEA was only expressed in dehydrated roots samples and that accumulation of CsLEA transcripts was increased both in leaves and roots during drought stress. Transgenic Arabidopsis plants that express CsLEA were generated to study the role of this LEA protein in stress tolerance.

Transgenic plants exhibited higher viability than wild type plants on growth media with sorbitol or NaCl. Significant differences for CO2 assimilation rate and proline concentration were also found between transgenics and wildtypes during dehydration and rehydration of the plants. These results suggest that CsLEA expression is modulated by drought stress.

For more information on the study, read the full article in Plant Omics Journal.