Enhancement of the tolerance of Arabidopsis to high temperatures by genetic engineering of the synthesis of glycinebetaine

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Arabidopsis thaliana was transformed with the codA gene for choline oxidase from Arthrobacter globiformis under control of the 35S RNA promoter of cauliflower mosaic virus. As a result, high levels of glycinebetaine accumulated in the seeds of transformed plants. Transformation with the codA gene significantly enhanced the tolerance to high temperatures during the imbibition and germination of seeds, as well as during growth of young seedlings. The extent of enhancement of the tolerance to high temperature was correlated with levels of choline oxidase expressed and of glycinebetine accumulated in the transformed plants. The induction of homologues of heat shock protein 70 at high temperature was less conspicuous in the transformed plants than in the wild-type plants, suggesting that the transformation alleviated the high-temperature stress.

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