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Marker-free transgenic durum wheat cv. Karim expressing the AlSAP gene exhibits a high level of tolerance to salinity and dehydration stresses

Ben-Saad R., Ben-Ramdhan W., Zouari N., Azaza J., Mieulet D., Guiderdoni E., Ellouz R., Hassairi A.. 2012. Molecular Breeding, 30 (1) : p. 521-533.

We have recently isolated the AlSAP (stress-associated protein) gene from the halophyte grass Aeluropus littoralis and demonstrated that AlSAP expression improves tolerance to continuous salt and drought stresses in transgenic tobacco. To extend these findings to an important crop, we generated marker-free transgenic durum wheat plants of the commercial cv. Karim expressing the AlSAP gene. The integration and expression of AlSAP in T3 homozygous plants were ascertained by Southern, Northern and Western blotting respectively. AlSAP wheat lines exhibited improved germination rates and biomass production under severe salinity and osmotic stress conditions. Following a long-term salt or drought stress greenhouse trial, AlSAP lines produced normally filled grains whereas wild-type (WT) plants either died at the vegetative stage under salt stress or showed markedly reduced grain filling under drought stress. Measurements of the RWC (relative water content) and endogenous Na? and K? levels in leaves of AlSAP plants, showed a lower water loss rate and a higher Na? accumulation in senescent-basal leaves, respectively, compared to those of WT plants. Taken together, these results extend to cereals the high potential of the AlSAP gene for engineering effective drought and salt tolerance. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : marqueur génétique; génie génétique; stress abiotique; résistance génétique; résistance à la sécheresse; tolérance au sel; expression des gènes; transfert de gène; plante transgénique; triticum durum; arabie saoudite; france; tunisie; aeluropus littoralis

Thématique : Génétique et amélioration des plantes; Troubles divers des plantes; Physiologie végétale : croissance et développement

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