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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(5), 5468-5481; doi:10.3390/ijms13055468
Article

A LEA Gene Regulates Cadmium Tolerance by Mediating Physiological Responses

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Received: 29 February 2012 / Revised: 22 April 2012 / Accepted: 26 April 2012 / Published: 4 May 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
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Abstract

In this study, the function of a LEA gene (TaLEA1) from Tamrix androssowii in response to heavy metal stress was characterized. Time-course expression analyses showed that NaCl, ZnCl2, CuSO4, and CdCl2 considerably increased the expression levels of the TaLEA1 gene, thereby suggesting that this gene plays a role in the responses to these test stressors. To analyze the heavy metal stress-tolerance mechanism regulated by TaLEA1, TaLEA1-overexpressing transgenic poplar plants (Populus davidiana Dode × P. bollena Lauche) were generated. Significant differences were not observed between the proline content of the transgenic and wild-type (WT) plants before and after CdCl2 stress. However, in comparison with the WT plants, the TaLEA1-transformed poplar plants had significantly higher superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD) activities, and lower malondialdehyde (MDA) levels under CdCl2 stress. Further, the transgenic plants showed better growth than the WT plants did, indicating that TaLEA1 provides tolerance to cadmium stress. These results suggest that TaLEA1 confers tolerance to cadmium stress by enhancing reactive oxygen species (ROS)-scavenging ability and decreasing lipid peroxidation. Subcellular-localization analysis showed that the TaLEA1 protein was distributed in the cytoplasm and nucleus.
Keywords: LEA gene; cadmium stress; stress tolerance; gene transformation; physiological response LEA gene; cadmium stress; stress tolerance; gene transformation; physiological response
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Gao, C.; Wang, C.; Zheng, L.; Wang, L.; Wang, Y. A LEA Gene Regulates Cadmium Tolerance by Mediating Physiological Responses. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 5468-5481.

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