One of the major abiotic stress conditions limiting healthy growth of trees is salinity stress. The use of gene manipulation for increased tolerance to abiotic stress has been successful in many plant species. Overexpression of the Arabidopsis SALT TOLERANT1
(STO1) gene leads to increased concentrations of 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase3, a vital enzyme in Arabidopsis
abscisic acid biosynthesis. In the present work, the Arabidopsis
STO1 gene (At
STO1) was overexpressed in poplar to determine if the transgene would confer enhanced salt tolerance to the generated transgenics. The results of multiple greenhouse trials indicated that the transgenic poplar lines had greater levels of resistance to NaCl than wild-type plants. Analysis using RT-PCR indicated a variation in the relative abundance of the STO1 transcript in the transgenics that coincided with tolerance to salt. Several physiological and morphological changes such as greater overall biomass, greater root biomass, improved photosynthesis, and greater pith size were observed in the transgenics when compared to controls undergoing salt stress. These results indicated overexpression of At
STO1 improved salt tolerance in poplar.
Lawson, Shaneka S.; Michler, Charles H. 2014. Overexpression of AtSTO1 leads to improved salt tolerance in Populus tremula × P. alba. Transgenic Research. 15 June 2014 .