Arabidopsis and tobacco plants ectopically expressing the soybean antiquitin-like ALDH7 gene display enhanced tolerance to drought, salinity, and oxidative stress

  • Rodrigues S
  • Andrade M
  • Gomes A
 et al. 
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Abstract

Despite extensive studies in eukaryotic aldehyde dehydrogenases, functional information about the ALDH7 antiquitin-like proteins is lacking. A soybean antiquitin homologue gene, designated GmTP55, has been isolated which encodes a dehydrogenase motif-containing 55 kDa protein induced by dehydration and salt stress. GmTP55 is closely related to the stress-induced plant antiquitin-like proteins that belong to the ALDH7 family. Transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) and Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) plants constitutively expressing GmTP55 have been obtained in order to examine the physiological role of this enzyme under a variety of stress conditions. Ectopic expression of GmTP55 in both Arabidopsis and tobacco conferred tolerance to salinity during germination and to water deficit during plant growth. Under salt stress, the germination efficiency of both transgenic tobacco and Arabidopsis seeds was significantly higher than that of their control counterparts. Likewise, under progressive drought, the transgenic tobacco lines apparently kept the shoot turgidity to a normal level, which contrasted with the leaf wilt phenotype of control plants. The transgenic plants also exhibited an enhanced tolerance to H(2)O(2)- and paraquat-induced oxidative stress. Both GmTP55-expressing Arabidopsis and tobacco seeds germinated efficiently in medium supplemented with H(2)O(2), whereas the germination of control seeds was drastically impaired. Similarly, transgenic tobacco leaf discs treated with paraquat displayed a significant reduction in the necrotic lesions as compared with control leaves. These transgenic lines also exhibited a lower concentration of lipid peroxidation-derived reactive aldehydes under oxidative stress. These results suggest that antiquitin may be involved in adaptive responses mediated by a physiologically relevant detoxification pathway in plants.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Aldehyde dehydrogenase
  • Antiquitin
  • Detoxification pathway
  • Environmental stresses
  • Stress tolerance
  • Turgor-responsive protein

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