Crop Biotech Update

Vacuolar H+-pyrophosphatase Gene from a Halophyte Improves Salt, Saline-alkali and Drought Tolerance in Arabidopsis

September 9, 2011

Saline, saline-alkali and drought are two major factors that affect plant growth and productivity. An electron pump called vacuolar H+-translocating inorganic pyrophosphatase (V-H+-PPase) functions for the translocation of protons into the vacuoles of plant cells. V-V-H+-PPase expression is perceived to aid plants in adapting to abiotic stresses.

 Liang Liu and colleagues at Jilin Agricultural University, China, reported the isolation and characterization of the gene ScVP, which encodes a V-H+-PPase from the halophyte, Suaeda corniculata. Analysis showed that the gene was induced in roots, stems and leaves under treatment with salt, saline-alkali, and drought. Genetically engineered Arabidopsis overexpressing ScVP had higher levels of sodium ions in leaves and roots compared to the wild-type (WT) plants. The GE plants also exhibited increased tolerance to high salinity, saline-alkali, and drought. There is higher germination percentage of GE Arabidopsis seeds than the WT seeds when exposed to the stresses. The root length of the GE plants were longer than the WT under salt stress. Higher water loss was also observed in WT plants than in GE plants when during drought. These findings support that ScVP plays an important role in plant tolerance to salt, saline-alkali and drought stress.

The abstract is available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1744-7909.2011.01066.x/abstract.