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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 692; doi:10.3390/ijms18040692

Ectopic Expression of Aeluropus littoralis Plasma Membrane Protein Gene AlTMP1 Confers Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Transgenic Tobacco by Improving Water Status and Cation Homeostasis

1
Plant Production Department, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2460, 11451 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2
Biotechnology and Plant Improvement Laboratory, Centre of Biotechnology of Sfax, University of Sfax, B.P 1177, 3018 Sfax, Tunisia
3
CIRAD-UMR AGAP (Centre de Cooperation Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Developpement), Avenue Agropolis, 34398 Montpellier CEDEX 5, France
4
Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology Applied to Crop Improvement, Faculty of Sciences of Sfax, University of Sfax, B.P 802, 3038 Sfax, Tunisia
Current Address: Plant Production Department, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2460, 11451 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
These authors are joint co-first authors.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Hikmet Budak
Received: 1 February 2017 / Revised: 12 March 2017 / Accepted: 20 March 2017 / Published: 24 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress and Gene Networks in Plants 2017)
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Abstract

We report here the isolation and functional analysis of AlTMP1 gene encoding a member of the PMP3 protein family. In Aeluropus littoralis, AlTMP1 is highly induced by abscisic acid (ABA), cold, salt, and osmotic stresses. Transgenic tobacco expressing AlTMP1 exhibited enhanced tolerance to salt, osmotic, H2O2, heat and freezing stresses at the seedling stage. Under greenhouse conditions, the transgenic plants showed a higher level of tolerance to drought than to salinity. Noteworthy, AlTMP1 plants yielded two- and five-fold more seeds than non-transgenic plants (NT) under salt and drought stresses, respectively. The leaves of AlTMP1 plants accumulated lower Na+ but higher K+ and Ca2+ than those of NT plants. Tolerance to osmotic and salt stresses was associated with higher membrane stability, low electrolyte leakage, and improved water status. Finally, accumulation of AlTMP1 in tobacco altered the regulation of some stress-related genes in either a positive (NHX1, CAT1, APX1, and DREB1A) or negative (HKT1 and KT1) manner that could be related to the observed tolerance. These results suggest that AlTMP1 confers stress tolerance in tobacco through maintenance of ion homeostasis, increased membrane integrity, and water status. The observed tolerance may be due to a direct or indirect effect of AlTMP1 on the expression of stress-related genes which could stimulate an adaptive potential not present in NT plants. View Full-Text
Keywords: drought and salt tolerance; Aeluropus littoralis; AlTMP1; plasma membrane protein; transgenic tobacco drought and salt tolerance; Aeluropus littoralis; AlTMP1; plasma membrane protein; transgenic tobacco
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Ben Romdhane, W.; Ben-Saad, R.; Meynard, D.; Verdeil, J.-L.; Azaza, J.; Zouari, N.; Fki, L.; Guiderdoni, E.; Al-Doss, A.; Hassairi, A. Ectopic Expression of Aeluropus littoralis Plasma Membrane Protein Gene AlTMP1 Confers Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Transgenic Tobacco by Improving Water Status and Cation Homeostasis. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 692.

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