Biotech Updates

Soil Bacterium Improves Osmotic Stress Tolerance in Arabidopsis

July 16, 2010

Choline (Cho) is an essential nutrient for humans and also known as the precursor of glycine betaine (GlyBet), an important solute that guards the eukaryotic cells from osmotic stress under dehydrating conditions. Huiming Zhang of Texas Tech University, together with other scientists, found that the soil bacterium Bacillus subtilis improves the synthesis of Cho and GlyBet in Arabidopsis, which further leads to enhanced osmotic stress tolerance.

The bacterium-treated plants showed increasing Cho and GlyBet metabolite pools consistent with increasing concentration of osmotic agent exposure, which was not observed in non-treated plants. Furthermore, the bacterium-treated plants sown on soil also showed enhanced drought tolerance. The results of this study could be used to develop Cho production in plants to increase their tolerance to osmotic stress.

Read the complete research paper at