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Article

Low Mannitol Concentrations in Arabidopsis thaliana Expressing Ectocarpus Genes Improve Salt Tolerance

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Marine Bioproducts Research Laboratory, Department of Plant, Food and Environmental Sciences, Dalhousie University, Truro, NS B2N 5E3, Canada
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Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Haixia Applied Plant Systems Biology, State Key Laboratory of Ecological Pest Control for Fujian and Taiwan Crops, Center for Genomics and Biotechnology, College of Life Science, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China
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Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
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Aquatic and Crop Resource Development Research Centre, National Research Council of Canada, Halifax, NS B3H 3Z1, Canada
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Unité Fonctionnalité et Ingénierie des Protéines (UFIP), UMR 6286 CNRS, Université de Nantes, 44322 Nantes, France
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Centre for Novel Agricultural Products, Department of Biology, University of York, Heslington YO105DD, UK
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Sorbonne Université, CNRS, UMR 8227, Integrative Biology of Marine Models (LBI2M), Station Biologique, 29680 Roscoff, France
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2020, 9(11), 1508; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9111508
Received: 27 September 2020 / Revised: 2 November 2020 / Accepted: 3 November 2020 / Published: 7 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Response to Abiotic Stress and Climate Change)
Mannitol is abundant in a wide range of organisms, playing important roles in biotic and abiotic stress responses. Nonetheless, mannitol is not produced by a vast majority of plants, including many important crop plants. Mannitol-producing transgenic plants displayed improved tolerance to salt stresses though mannitol production was rather low, in the µM range, compared to mM range found in plants that innately produce mannitol. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying salt tolerance triggered by low concentrations of mannitol. Reported here is the production of mannitol in Arabidopsis thaliana, by expressing two mannitol biosynthesis genes from the brown alga Ectocarpus sp. strain Ec32. To date, no brown algal genes have been successfully expressed in land plants. Expression of mannitol-1-phosphate dehydrogenase and mannitol-1-phosphatase genes was associated with the production of 42.3–52.7 nmol g−1 fresh weight of mannitol, which was sufficient to impart salinity and temperature stress tolerance. Transcriptomics revealed significant differences in the expression of numerous genes, in standard and salinity stress conditions, including genes involved in K+ homeostasis, ROS signaling, plant development, photosynthesis, ABA signaling and secondary metabolism. These results suggest that the improved tolerance to salinity stress observed in transgenic plants producing mannitol in µM range is achieved by the activation of a significant number of genes, many of which are involved in priming and modulating the expression of genes involved in a variety of functions including hormone signaling, osmotic and oxidative stress, and ion homeostasis. View Full-Text
Keywords: mannitol biosynthesis genes; mannitol-1-phosphate dehydrogenase; mannitol-1-phosphatase; Ectocarpus sp.; Arabidopsis thaliana; abiotic stress tolerance; salt stress mannitol biosynthesis genes; mannitol-1-phosphate dehydrogenase; mannitol-1-phosphatase; Ectocarpus sp.; Arabidopsis thaliana; abiotic stress tolerance; salt stress
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rathor, P.; Borza, T.; Liu, Y.; Qin, Y.; Stone, S.; Zhang, J.; Hui, J.P.M.; Berrue, F.; Groisillier, A.; Tonon, T.; Yurgel, S.; Potin, P.; Prithiviraj, B. Low Mannitol Concentrations in Arabidopsis thaliana Expressing Ectocarpus Genes Improve Salt Tolerance. Plants 2020, 9, 1508. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9111508

AMA Style

Rathor P, Borza T, Liu Y, Qin Y, Stone S, Zhang J, Hui JPM, Berrue F, Groisillier A, Tonon T, Yurgel S, Potin P, Prithiviraj B. Low Mannitol Concentrations in Arabidopsis thaliana Expressing Ectocarpus Genes Improve Salt Tolerance. Plants. 2020; 9(11):1508. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9111508

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rathor, Pramod; Borza, Tudor; Liu, Yanhui; Qin, Yuan; Stone, Sophia; Zhang, Junzeng; Hui, Joseph P.M.; Berrue, Fabrice; Groisillier, Agnès; Tonon, Thierry; Yurgel, Svetlana; Potin, Philippe; Prithiviraj, Balakrishnan. 2020. "Low Mannitol Concentrations in Arabidopsis thaliana Expressing Ectocarpus Genes Improve Salt Tolerance" Plants 9, no. 11: 1508. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9111508

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