Crop Biotech Update

Overexpression of TaNHX2 Enhances Salt Tolerance of Transgenic Soybean

August 19, 2011

Scientist Dong Cao and colleagues at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences transformed a salt tolerance gene from wheat (TaNHX2) into soybean hairy roots through Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated transformation to investigate the effect of overexpression of TaNHX2 on the tolerance of composite plants with transgenic hairy roots.

After exposure to salt stress, the composite plants showed high salinity tolerance while control plants exhibited chlorosis and died within 15 days. The researchers also transformed TaNHX2 into soybean using A. tumefaciens-mediated transformation to further validate the gene's function in salt tolerance. Transgenic lines had improved salt tolerance in plant biomass and flower number per plant, compared with the wild type plants. Moreover, some of the transgenic plants had longer survival, less growth inhibition and more flowers than the wild type.

Based on the findings, it was proven that TaNHX2 could improve salt tolerance of soybean, and A. rhizogenes-mediated transformation could be used as another tool in investigating the functions of candidate genes in soybean.

The research paper is published at http://www.springerlink.com/content/h51n73352374v877/.