Ectopic expression of a LEA protein gene TsLEA1 from Thellungiella salsuginea confers salt-tolerance in yeast and Arabidopsis

Yiyue Zhang, Yin Li, Jianbin Lai, Huawei Zhang, Yuanyuan Liu, Liming Liang, Qi Xie
Molecular Biology Reports 2012, 39 (4): 4627-33
Thellungiella salsuginea is a valuable halophytic genetic model plant in the Brassicaceae family. Based on previous construction of a salt treated Thellungiella cDNA library carried by pGAD-GH shuttle vector which could directly express in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a putative salt-tolerance gene TsLEA1 was identified by large-scale stress-tolerance screen in salt sensitive yeast strain G19. The longest 483 bp ORF of TsLEA1 cDNA coding a 160 amino acids protein with a predicted conserved pfam domain shared an 89% amino acid sequence similarity to Arabidopsis LEA group 4 proteins. The transcription level of TsLEA1 gene in T. salsuginea seedlings increased upon salt treatment and its transcript accumulated more in roots than in aerial parts. The ability of the TsLEA1 to facilitate salinity tolerance was analyzed in yeast and transgenic Arabidopsis. It was confirmed that TsLEA1 exhibits conserved salt tolerance in plant as well as in yeast. The results suggested that the TsLEA1 may participate in response to stresses in over expressed circumstance, protecting yeast and plant cells under stress conditions.

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