Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 12, Issue 1,2014
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

A 30-kb genomic DNA fragment of resurrection plant Boea hygrometrica enhances Arabidopsis osmotic and alkaline tolerance


Yan Zhao *, Chunying Shen *, Tao Xu, Shixuan Chen, Meijing Li, Xin Deng *

Recieved Date: 2013-11-10, Accepted Date: 2014-01-23


Water availability is the most important factor limiting crop growth and plant productivity. Most crop species are very sensitive to soil water potential and only rarely survive extreme drought conditions. Scarcity of information about the genes that enable or improve plant dehydration tolerance is preventing critical efforts in crop engineering programs. Wild plants with distinctive drought resistance mechanisms can be seen as potential resources for the mining, exploration, and eventual engineering exploitation of key genes that confer dehydration tolerance. A genomic fragment from the resurrection plant Boea hygrometrica, which was code-named 3-39, was transformed into Arabidopsis thaliana using the binary bacterial articial chromosome (BIBAC) vector. The transgenic Arabidopsis lines carrying this fragment displayed enhanced tolerance to both osmotic and alkaline stresses. The primary roots of the transgenic lines were similar to the wild-type under control conditions, but were significantly longer than the wild-type roots under both osmotic and alkaline stresses. These transgenic lines also had lower electrolyte leakage and higher photochemical efficiency under the stress conditions than the wild-type plants, further supporting the observed osmotic and alkaline stress tolerance phenotype. Shotgun sequencing analyses revealed that this genomic fragment carried 29,452 bp of B. hygrometrica genomic DNA. Three transposable elements (TEs), including two Ty3/gypsy type (TE2 and TE3) and one Ty1/copia type (TE1) were predicted to be in the 3-39 sequence. However, only one of these, Ty3/gypsy type (TE3), contained an intact structure typical of retrotransposons. Orthologous sequences of TE3 were found in several eudicots, and phylogenetic analysis indicated that the occurrence of this TE could be dated back to the core eudicots, preceding the differentiation of the rosids and asterids. Taken together, our study resulted in the identification of a novel Ty3/gypsy type retrotransposon, which appears to play a role in plant osmotic and alkaline stress tolerance physiology.


Alkaline stress, Boea hygrometrica, large DNA transformation, osmotic stress, resurrection plant, retrotransposon, transposable element

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2014
Volume: 12
Issue: 1
Category: Agriculture
Pages: 210-215

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