Drought- and salt-tolerant plants result from overexpression of the AVP1 H+-pump

Roberto A. Gaxiola, Jisheng Li, Soledad Undurraga, Lien M. Dang, Gethyn J. Allen, Seth L. Alper, Gerald R. Fink

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Abstract

Transgenic plants overexpressing the vacuolar H+-pyrophos. phatase are much more resistant to high concentrations of NaCl and to water deprivation than the isogenic wild-type strains. These transgenic plants accumulate more Na+ and K+ in their leaf tissue than the wild type. Moreover, direct measurements on isolated vacuolar membrane vesicles derived from the AVP1 transgenic plants and from wild type demonstrate that the vesicles from the transgenic plants have enhanced cation uptake. The phenotypes of the AVP1 transgenic plants suggest that increasing the vacuolar proton gradient results in increased solute accumulation and water retention. Presumably, sequestration of cations in the vacuole reduces their toxic effects. Genetically engineered drought- and salt-tolerant plants could provide an avenue to the reclamation of farmlands lost to agriculture because of salinity and a lack of rainfall.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11444-11449
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume98
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 25 2001

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