Biotech Updates

Study Provides Clues in Breeding Stress-resistant Tortured Willow

March 9, 2022

Photo by David J. Stang, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Researchers from Nantong University in China conducted a study to identify the key genes for breeding stress-resistant varieties of tortured willow (Salix matsudana). The results are published in BMC Plant Biology.

Tortured willow is a widely planted ornamental tree, which originated from China. Researchers aim to improve its tolerance to soil salinization, endowing varieties with the ability to grow along coastlines, thereby mitigating afforestation and protecting the environment. Since the AP2/ERF family of transcription factors has been proven to be involved in plant biotic/abiotic stress tolerance and development, the researchers cloned the SmAP2-17 gene and analyzed its role in salt tolerance.

Results showed that overexpression of SmAP2-17 gene isolated from tortured willow is a positive regulator that improves the resistance of transgenic Arabidopsis plants to salt stress by upregulating SOS3 and ABI5 genes. The findings provide insights into the development of salt resistant lines through genetic modification.

Read the open-access article in BMC Plant Biology.

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