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June, 2006

African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 5 (11), pp. 1041-1047, 2 June 2006
ISSN 1684-5315 © 2006 Academic Journals

Overexpression AtNHX1 confers salt-tolerance of transgenic tall fescue / p>

by Luming Tian1,3 +, Conglin Huang1,2 +, Rong Yu2 +, Ruifang Liang1 +, Zhiliang Li1, Lusheng Zhang3, Yongqin Wang1, Xiuhai Zhang1 and Zhongyi Wu1,2 * 1Beijing Research Center of Agro - Biology, Beijing 100089, China.

2College of Life Sciences, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100037, China. 3College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100094, China.

* Corresponding author. E-mail ::

Luming Tian, ​​Conglin Huang, Rong Yu and Ruifang Liang, contributed equally to this paper. >

Accepted 18 May, 2006

ABSTRACT et al.htm

Saline soil is a serious problem worldwide, and it is necessary to improve the salt tolerance of plants so as to avoid the progressive deterioration of saline soil. Here we report that over-expression of AtNHX1 improves salt tolerance in transgenic tall fescue. The AtNHX1 gene driven with CaMV35S promoter was constructed in the plant expression vector pGreen0229, and introduced into the embryonic calli of hypocotyls of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) by particle bombardment. Regenerated plantlets were obtained by screening of herbicide (PPT, 2 mg / L), and the putative transformants were assayed by PCR and western blot analysis. 29 transgenic plants were obtained. The results indicated that the exogenous genes had been integrated into the genomes of transgenic plants, and AtNHX1 is expressed in the plants. There was remarkable salt tolerance in transgenic plants compared to control plants.
Full text:

Chinese scientists have genetically modified a herbaceous plant that is used as pasture in Asia, Africa and South America A team of Chinese scientists has developed a genetic modification of the herbaceous plant fescue , used as fodder for animals, in order to be cultivated in soils with a high salinity index. This new transgenic variety will allow millions of hectares of land around the world to regain their productivity again. The modified plants show a "remarkable tolerance to salt" and all of them grow better than those that are not transgenic when the soil conditions present a high saline concentration, according to the news distribution list Agbioworld . Researchers led by Wu Zhongyi of the Beijing Agro-biotechnology Research Center modified the tall fescue grass species by introducing a gene of arabidopsis thaliana, which is a plant of the family of the mustard. Tall fescue is cultivated in large areas of Africa, China and South America as grass and also as fodder for grazing animals, but the salinity of a good part of the soils of these areas has been converted in a growing problem that makes the land not cultivable.

In this study, 29 transgenic plants were obtained by inserting the AtNHX1 gene into high fescue plants using the particle bombardment technique. The new transgenic variety of this plant, which for many years has been chosen by a large number of farmers in the central-eastern region of China, can solve one of the most important problems in agriculture, soil salinity, rendering it unproductive millions of hectares around the world, which can be useful again through biotechnology. However, Rongda Qu, a professor of crop science at North Carolina State University (U.S.A.), argues that more research is needed to confirm the findings and to develop how the inserted gene confers salt tolerance. Excess salt is one of the most important problems that can arise in agriculture, consider the scientists in the article published in the African Journal of Biotechnology, since a high salt concentration may imply an excessive level cytoplasmic sodium, ionic imbalances and drought accentuation.

More information: African Journal of Biotechnology: /App/PDF/pdf2006/2Jun/Tian%20et%20al.pdf

scientists develop salt tolerant grass

Wagdy Sawahel, SciDev.Net

Scientists in China have developed a salt-tolerant form of grass that they say could be used to help millions of degraded land back into production.

The team led by Wu Zhongyi of the Beijing Research Center of Agro-Biotechnology published its findings on June 2 in the African Journal of Biotechnology.

The researchers genetically modified such l fescue grass (Festuca arundinacea) by inserting the gene from a relative of mustard called Arabidopsis thaliana .

Tall fescue is grown widely in Africa, China and South America as well as forage crops for grazing animals, but it is becoming increasingly problematic in many areas. "The development of a salt tolerant tall fescue is an important improvement for this species," says Zengyu Wang of the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation's forage improvement division.

"This improved grass has the potential to benefit livestock operations that depend on sustainable forage production," Wang told SciDev.Net. Rongda Qu, professor of crop sciences at North Carolina State University in the United States, says the research is needed to confirm the findings and work out how the gene confers salt tolerance.

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