JOURNAL ARTICLE

Transgenic Indian mustard (Brassica juncea) plants expressing an Arabidopsis phytochelatin synthase (AtPCS1) exhibit enhanced As and Cd tolerance

Ksenija Gasic, Schuyler S Korban
Plant Molecular Biology 2007, 64 (4): 361-9
17390107
Phytochelatins (PCs) are post-translationally synthesized thiol reactive peptides that play important roles in detoxification of heavy metal and metalloids in plants and other living organisms. The overall goal of this study is to develop transgenic plants with increased tolerance for and accumulation of heavy metals and metalloids from soil by expressing an Arabidopsis thaliana AtPCS1 gene, encoding phytochelatin synthase (PCS), in Indian mustard (Brassica juncea L.). A FLAG-tagged AtPCS1 gDNA, under its native promoter, is expressed in Indian mustard, and transgenic pcs lines have been compared with wild-type plants for tolerance to and accumulation of cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As). Compared to wild type plants, transgenic plants exhibit significantly higher tolerance to Cd and As. Shoots of Cd-treated pcs plants have significantly higher concentrations of PCs and thiols than those of wild-type plants. Shoots of wild-type plants accumulated significantly more Cd than those of transgenic plants, while accumulation of As in transgenic plants was similar to that in wild type plants. Although phytochelatin synthase improves the ability of Indian mustard to tolerate higher levels of the heavy metal Cd and the metalloid As, it does not increase the accumulation potential of these metals in the above ground tissues of Indian mustard plants.

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