Arabidopsis LOS5/ABA3 overexpression in transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum cv. Xanthi-nc) results in enhanced drought tolerance

Yuesen Yue, Mingcai Zhang, Jiachang Zhang, Liusheng Duan, Zhaohu Li
Plant Science: An International Journal of Experimental Plant Biology 2011, 181 (4): 405-11
Drought is a major environmental stress factor that affects growth and development of plants. Abscisic acid (ABA), osmotically active compounds, and synthesis of specific proteins, such as proteins that scavenge oxygen radicals, are crucial for plants to adapt to water deficit. LOS5/ABA3 (LOS5) encodes molybdenum-cofactor sulfurase, which is a key regulator of ABA biosynthesis. We overexpressed LOS5 in tobacco using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Detached leaves of LOS5-overexpressing seedlings showed lower transpirational water loss than that of nontransgenic seedlings in the same period under normal conditions. When subjected to water-deficit stress, transgenic plants showed less wilting, maintained higher water content and better cellular membrane integrity, accumulated higher quantities of ABA and proline, and exhibited higher activities of antioxidant enzymes, i.e., superoxide dismutase, catalase, peroxidase and ascorbate peroxidase, as compared with control plants. Furthermore, LOS5-overexpressing plants treated with 30% polyethylene glycol showed similar performance in cellular membrane protection, ABA and proline accumulation, and activities of catalase and peroxidase to those under drought stress. Thus, overexpression of LOS5 in transgenic tobacco can enhance drought tolerance.

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