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Up-regulation of a H+-pyrophosphatase (H+-PPase) as a strategy to engineer drought-resistant crop plants

By Sunghun Park, Jisheng Li, Jon K. Pittman, Gerald A. Berkowitz, Haibing Yang, Soledad Undurraga, Jay Morris, Kendal D. Hirschi and Roberto A. Gaxiola

Abstract

Engineering drought -resistant crop plants is a critically important objective. Overexpression of the vacuolar H+-pyrophosphatase (H+-PPase) AVP1 in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana results in enhanced performance under soil water deficits. Recent work demonstrates that AVP1 plays an important role in root development through the facilitation of auxin fluxes. With the objective of improving crop performance, we expressed AVP1 in a commercial cultivar of tomato. This approach resulted in (i) greater pyrophosphate-driven cation transport into root vacuolar fractions, (ii) increased root biomass, and (iii) enhanced recovery of plants from an episode of soil water deficit stress. More robust root systems allowed transgenic tomato plants to take up greater amounts of water during the imposed water deficit stress, resulting in a more favorable plant water status and less injury. This study documents a general strategy for improving drought resistance of crops

Topics: Biological Sciences
Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:1323196
Provided by: PubMed Central
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