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Ectopic expression of Aeluropus littoralis plasma membrane protein gene AlTMP1 confers abiotic stress tolerance in transgenic tobacco by improving water status and cation homeostasis

Ben Romdhane W., Ben-Saad R., Meynard D., Verdeil J.L., Azaza J., Zouari N., Fki L., Guiderdoni E., Al-Doss A., Hassairi A.. 2017. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18 (4) : e692 (25 p.).

We report here the isolation and functional analysis of AlTMP1 gene encoding a member of the PMP3 protein family. In Aeluropus littoralis, AlTMP1 is highly induced by abscisic acid (ABA), cold, salt, and osmotic stresses. Transgenic tobacco expressing AlTMP1 exhibited enhanced tolerance to salt, osmotic, H2O2, heat and freezing stresses at the seedling stage. Under greenhouse conditions, the transgenic plants showed a higher level of tolerance to drought than to salinity. Noteworthy, AlTMP1 plants yielded two- and five-fold more seeds than non-transgenic plants (NT) under salt and drought stresses, respectively. The leaves of AlTMP1 plants accumulated lower Na+ but higher K+ and Ca2+ than those of NT plants. Tolerance to osmotic and salt stresses was associated with higher membrane stability, low electrolyte leakage, and improved water status. Finally, accumulation of AlTMP1 in tobacco altered the regulation of some stress-related genes in either a positive (NHX1, CAT1, APX1, and DREB1A) or negative (HKT1 and KT1) manner that could be related to the observed tolerance. These results suggest that AlTMP1 confers stress tolerance in tobacco through maintenance of ion homeostasis, increased membrane integrity, and water status. The observed tolerance may be due to a direct or indirect effect of AlTMP1 on the expression of stress-related genes which could stimulate an adaptive potential not present in NT plants. (Résumé d'auteur)

Thématique : Génétique et amélioration des plantes; Physiologie et biochimie végétales; Troubles divers des plantes

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