Plant growth and crop production are limited by environmental stress. We used a large population of transgenic Arabidopsis expressing rice full-length cDNAs to isolate the rice genes that improve the tolerance of plants to environmental stress. By sowing T2 seeds of the transgenic lines under conditions of salinity stress, the salt-tolerant line R07047 was isolated. It expressed a rice gene, OsSMCP1, which encodes a small protein with a single C2 domain, a Ca2+-dependent membrane-targeting domain. Retransformation of wild-type Arabidopsis revealed that OsSMCP1 is responsible for conferring the salt tolerance. It is particularly interesting that R07047 and newly constructed OsSMCP1-overexpressing Arabidopsis showed enhanced tolerance not only to high salinity but also to osmotic, dehydrative, and oxidative stresses. Furthermore, R07047 showed improved resistance to Pseudomonas syringae. The OsSMCP1 expression in rice is constitutive. Particle-bombardment-mediated transient expression analysis revealed that OsSMCP1 is targeted to plastids in rice epidermal cells. It induced overexpression of several nuclear encoded genes, including the stress-associated genes, in transgenic Arabidopsis. No marked morphological change or growth retardation was observed in R07047 or retransformants. For molecular breeding to improve the tolerance of crops against environmental stress, OsSMCP1 is a promising candidate.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 4, 2009
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