Overexpressing GSH1 and AsPCS1 simultaneously increases the tolerance and accumulation of cadmium and arsenic in Arabidopsis thaliana

Jiangbo Guo, Xiaojing Dai, Wenzhong Xu, Mi Ma
Chemosphere 2008, 72 (7): 1020-6
The goal of this study was to develop transgenic plants with increased tolerance for and accumulation of heavy metals and metalloids from soil by simultaneous overexpression of AsPCS1 and GSH1 (derived from garlic and baker's yeast) in Arabidopsis thaliana. Phytochelatins (PCs) and glutathione (GSH) are the main binding peptides involved in chelating heavy metal ions in plants and other living organisms. Single-gene transgenic lines had higher tolerance to and accumulated more Cd and As than wild-type. Compared to single-gene transgenic lines, dual-gene transformants exhibited significantly higher tolerance to and accumulated more Cd and As. One of the dual-gene transgenic lines, PG1, accumulated twice the amount of Cd as single-gene transgenic lines. Simultaneous overexpression of AsPCS1 and GSH1 led to elevated total PC production in transgenic Arabidopsis. These results indicate that such a stacking of modified genes is capable of increasing Cd and As tolerance and accumulation in transgenic lines, and represents a highly promising new tool for use in phytoremediation efforts.

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