Transformation of Nicotiana tabacum plants with Na+/H+ antiporter (AtNHX1) gene isolated from Arabidopsis thaliana for evaluation of salt tolerance

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biology, Turkey

Approval Date: 2007




Large, membrane-bound vacuoles of plant cells are suitable organelles for the compartmentation of ions. These vacuoles contain Na+/H+ antiporters for movement of Na+ within the organelle in exchange for H+. They provide an efficient mechanism to prevent the occurance of detrimental outcomes of Na+ accumulation in the cytosol. Identification of AtNHX1 gene that confers resistance to salinity by expressing a Na+/H+ antiport pump facilitates the understanding of the salt stress tolerance mechanisms of plants. The aim of the present study was to isolate and clone the Arabidopsis thaliana AtNHX1 coding sequence for transformation of Nicotiana tabacum plants via Agrobacterium tumefaciens mediated gene transfer. For this purpose, total RNA was isolated from Arabidopsis thaliana plants and cDNA synthesis was performed. AtNHX1 (1614bp) was amplified by using cDNA of Arabidopsis via specific primers. The amplified PCR product was verified by sequencing. AtNHX1 coding sequence was cloned into the plant transformation vector pCVB1 and 10 independent putative transgenic tobacco plants were obtained via Agrobacterium tumefaciens mediated gene transfer sysytem. Transfer of selected 8 putative transgenic plants to soil provided the regeneration of T1 seeds. Germination of the seeds under different salt treatments (0, 50, 100, 150, 200, 250 mM NaCl) was observed for evaluating the salt tolerance of transformed plants. The 82% and 60% of the transgenic T1 seeds were germinated on 150 mM NaCl and 200 mM NaCl containing media, respectively. In contrast the germination percentage of wild type tobacco seeds under 150 mM NaCl and 200 mM NaCl concentrations were 39% and 21%, respectively. The germination rate of the transgenic T1 seeds were significantly higher (p=0,001) when compared to the control seeds especially under high salt stress conditions (150 and 200 mM NaCl). Taken all together, our results demonstrated that the germination efficiencies and growth of the plants transformed with AtNHX1 were higher than the wild type tobacco plants under high salt concentrations.