Expression of a fungal sterol desaturase improves tomato drought tolerance, pathogen resistance and nutritional quality

National Institute of Plant Genome Research , New Delhi, India.
Scientific Reports (Impact Factor: 5.58). 12/2012; 2:951. DOI: 10.1038/srep00951
Source: PubMed


Crop genetic engineering mostly aims at improving environmental stress (biotic and abiotic) tolerance as well as nutritional quality. Empowering a single crop with multiple traits is highly demanding and requires manipulation of more than one gene. However, we report improved drought tolerance and fungal resistance along with the increased iron and polyunsaturated fatty acid content in tomato by expressing a single gene encoding C-5 sterol desaturase (FvC5SD) from an edible fungus Flammulina velutipes. FvC5SD is an iron binding protein involved in ergosterol biosynthesis. Morphological and biochemical analyses indicated ≈23% more epicuticular wax deposition in leaves of transgenic plants that provides an effective waterproof barrier resulting in improved protection from drought and infection by phytopathogenic fungus Sclerotinia
sclerotiorum. Furthermore, the transgenic fruits have improved nutritional value attributed to enhanced level of beneficial PUFA and 2-3 fold increase in total iron content. This strategy can be extended to other economically important crops.

Download full-text


Available from: Mohammad Azam
    • "Alam et al. (2015) reported that a rice heme activator protein gene (OsHAP2E) conferred resistance to pathogen, salinity and drought. Similar results have been obtained in the studies in maize, tomato and Arabidopsis (Campo et al. 2012; Kamthan et al. 2012; Ramírez et al. 2009). It is known that besides drought, fungal disease infection could also cause the change of MDA content in plants (Wang et al. 2004; Chen et al. 2008). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Malondialdehyde (MDA) is a naturally occurring product of lipid peroxidation and the level of MDA in plant is often used as a parameter to evaluate the damage to plants' cells due to stress. Plant with lower amounts of MDA under drought conditions is generally considered as more tolerant to drought. In this study, a population of recombinant inbred lines was used to map the quantitative trait locus (QTLs) that controlled MDA content under well-watered condition (WW) and water deficit (WD) condition. A major QTL, designated as Qheb.mda-3B, was detected on the long arm of chromosome 3B. Based on interval mapping analysis, Qheb.mda-3B explained 31.5 and 39.0 % of the phenotypic variance under WW and WD conditions, respectively. Qheb.mda-3B was located in the same interval as a previously identified QTL (Qcrs.cpi-3B) that controlled resistance to Fusarium crown rot (FCR), a fungal disease caused by Fusarium species. Three pairs of near-isogenic lines (NILs) previously developed for Qcrs.cpi-3B were found to show significant differences in MDA content under WD condition. These results suggested that same set of genes is likely to be involved in drought tolerance and FCR resistance in wheat.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · MGG Molecular & General Genetics
  • Source
    • "Nevertheless, focus still remains on seed as the fundamental laboratory through which productivity issues in agriculture can be addressed. This is because almost all the products of these technologies such as increased yield (Daoura et al., 2014), pest and disease resistance (Kamthan et al., 2012; Zeller et al., 2013), improved nutrition or biofortification (Stein, 2008; Dawe et al., 2002; Bhullar and Gruissem, 2013) and others all rely on seed as the focal point for 'housing' and 'marketing' these technologies. Against this backdrop, the issue of seed has constantly been one keenly contested, nay controversial, with various groups having their interests to promote and safeguard. "

    Preview · Article · Oct 2014 · African journal of agricultural research
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The importance of optimal nutrition for human health and development is well recognised. Adverse environmental conditions, such as drought, flooding, extreme heat and so on, affect crop yields more than pests and diseases. Thus, a major goal of plant scientists is to find ways to maintain high productivity under stress as well as developing crops with enhanced nutritional value. Genetically-modified (GM) crops can prove to be powerful complements to those produced by conventional methods for meeting the worldwide demand for quality foods. Crops developed by genetic engineering can not only be used to enhance yields and nutritional quality but also for increased tolerance to various biotic and abiotic stresses. Although there have been some expressions of concern about biosafety and health hazards associated with GM crops, there is no reason to hesitate in consuming genetically-engineered food crops that have been thoughtfully developed and carefully tested. Integration of modern biotechnology, with conventional agricultural practices in a sustainable manner, can fulfil the goal of attaining food security for present as well as future generations.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Agriculture and Food Security
Show more