Transgenic cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) seedlings expressing a tobacco glutathione S-transferase fail to provide improved stress tolerance

Ginger G Light, James R Mahan, Virginia P Roxas, Randy D Allen
Planta 2005, 222 (2): 346-54
Transgenic cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) lines expressing the tobacco glutathione S-transferase (GST) Nt107 were evaluated for tolerance to chilling, salinity, and herbicides, antioxidant enzyme activity, antioxidant compound levels, and lipid peroxidation. Although transgenic seedlings exhibited ten-fold and five-fold higher GST activity under normal and salt-stress conditions, respectively, germinating seedlings did not show improved tolerance to salinity, chilling conditions, or herbicides. Glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activity in transgenic seedlings was 30% to 60% higher under normal conditions, but was not different than GPX activity in wild-type seedlings under salt-stress conditions. Glutathione reductase, superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase, and monodehydroascorbate reductase activities were not increased in transgenic seedlings under salt-stress conditions, while dehydroascorbate reductase activity was decreased in transgenic seedlings under salt-stress conditions. Transgenic seedlings had 50% more oxidized glutathione when exposed to salt stress. Ascorbate levels were not increased in transgenic seedlings under salt-stress conditions. Malondialdehyde content in transgenic seedlings was nearly double that of wild-type seedlings under normal conditions and did not increase under salt-stress conditions. These results show that expression of Nt107 in cotton does not provide adequate protection against oxidative stress and suggests that the endogenous antioxidant system in cotton may be disrupted by the expression of the tobacco GST.

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