Biotech Updates

New Role of Pea “Large” G-Proteins in Salinity and Heat Stress Tolerance

July 6, 2007

The “large” G proteins function as mediators in the transfer of various signals from activated G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) to appropriate effectors. The first direct evidence that links the G proteins to salinity and heat stress tolerance has been presented by researchers at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in New Delhi, India in a recent issue of The Plant Journal.

Researchers reported the isolation of the cDNAs of two isoforms of G-alpha (Gα1 and Gα2) and one Gβ from pea and purification of their encoded recombinant proteins. Levels of Gα and Gβ went up following NaCl and heat treatments. Protein-protein interaction studies showed that Gα protein interacted with the pea Gβ. Consequently, transgenic tobacco plants overexpressing Gα showed tolerance to salinity and heat, while Gβ overexpression showed only heat tolerance. This research uncovers a new pathway to engineer to maximize crop yield in sub-optimal conditions such as high salinity and high temperature.

For more information on the article, “Heterotrimeric G-protein complex and G-protein-coupled receptor from a legume (Pisum sativum): role in salinity and heat stress and cross-talk with phospholipase C”, contact Dr. Narendra Tuteja at