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Overexpression of AlTMP2 gene from the halophyte grass Aeluropus littoralis in transgenic tobacco enhances tolerance to different abiotic stresses by improving membrane stability and deregulating some stress-related genes

Ben-Romdhane W., Ben-Saad R., Meynard D., Zouari N., Mahjoub A., Fki L., Guiderdoni E., Al-Doss A., Hassairi A.. 2018. Protoplasma, 255 (4) : p. 1161-1177.

Herein, we report isolation of the AlTMP2 gene from the halophytic C4 grass Aeluropus littoralis. The subcellular localization suggested that AlTMP2 is a plasma membrane protein. In A. littoralis exposed to salt and osmotic stresses, the AlTMP2 gene was induced early and at a high rate, but was upregulated relatively later in response to abscisic acid and cold treatments. Expression of AlTMP2 in tobacco conferred improved tolerance against salinity, osmotic, H2O2, heat, and freezing stresses at the germination and seedling stages. Under control conditions, no growth or yield penalty were mentioned in transgenic plants due to the constitutive expression of AlTMP2. Interestingly, under greenhouse conditions, the seed yield of transgenic plants was significantly higher than that of non-transgenic (NT) plants grown under salt or drought stress. Furthermore, AlTMP2 plants had less electrolyte leakage, higher membrane stability, and lower Na+ and higher K+ accumulation than NT plants. Finally, six stress-related genes were shown to be deregulated in AlTMP2 plants relative to NT plants under both control and stress conditions. Collectively, these results indicate that AlTMP2 confers abiotic stress tolerance by improving ion homeostasis and membrane integrity, and by deregulating certain stress-related genes.

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

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