Expression of OsNHX1 gene in maize confers salt tolerance and promotes plant growth in the field

https://doi.org/10.17221/2302-PSECitation:Chen M., Chen Q.-., Niu X.-., Zhang R., Lin H.-., Xu C.-., Wang X.-., Wang G.-., Chen J. (2007): Expression of OsNHX1 gene in maize confers salt tolerance and promotes plant growth in the field. Plant Soil Environ., 53: 490-498.
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Maize yield is severely affected by soil salinity. In an effort to engineer maize for improved salt tolerance, embryogenic calli of maize were co-bombarded with plasmids containing Oryza sativa Na+/H+ antiporter gene (OsNHX1) and bar genes. For the molecular analysis of putative transgenic samples, PCR, Southern and Northern blots were carried out. The maize plants over-expressing OsNHX1 accumulated more biomass when grown in the presence of 200mM NaCl in greenhouse conditions. Higher Na+ and K+ content was observed in transgenic leaves than in wildtype leaves when treated with 100~200mM NaCl, while the osmotic potential and the proline content in transgenic leaves was lower than in wild-type maize. A field trial revealed that the transgenic maize plants produced higher grain yields than the wild-type plants at the vegetative growth stage. These results demonstrate that the OsNHX1 gene was successfully transferred into Zea mays, and the salt-tolerance of transgenic maize was improved by overexpression of the OsNHX1 gene.
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