Beneficial implications of sugar beet proteinase inhibitor BvSTI on plant architecture and salt stress tolerance in Lotus corniculatus L.
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© 2019 Elsevier GmbH
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Food demands of increasing human population dictate intensification of livestock production, however, environmental stresses could jeopardize producers' efforts. Forage legumes suffer from yield losses and poor nutritional status due to salinity increase of agricultural soils. As tools aimed to reduce negative impacts of biotic or abiotic stresses, proteinase inhibitors (PIs) have been promoted for biotechnological improvements. In order to increase tolerance of Lotus corniculatus L. to salt stress, serine PI, BvSTI, was introduced into this legume using Agrobacterium rhizogenes, with final transformation efficiency of 4.57%. PCR, DNA gel-blot, RT-PCR and in-gel protein activity assays confirmed the presence and activity of BvSTI products in transformed lines. Plants from three selected transgenic lines (21, 73 and 109) showed significant alterations in overall phenotypic appearance, corresponding to differences in BvSTI accumulation. Lines 73 and 109 showed up to 7.3-fold higher number of tillers and massive, up to 5.8-fold heavier roots than in nontransformed controls (NTC). Line 21 was phenotypically similar to NTC, accumulated less BvSTI transcripts and did not exhibit an additional band of recombinant trypsin inhibitor as seen in lines 73 and 109. Exposure of the transgenic lines to NaCl revealed different levels of salt stress susceptibility. The NaCl sensitivity index, based on morphological appearance and chlorophyll concentrations showed that lines 73 and 109 were significantly less affected by salinity than NTC or line 21. High level of BvSTI altered morphology and delayed salt stress related senescence, implicating BvSTI gene as a promising tool for salinity tolerance improvement trials in L. corniculatus.
Keywords:Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated transformation; BvSTI; Lotus corniculatus; Salt stress; Serine proteinase inhibitors
Source:Journal of Plant Physiology, 2019, 243, 153055-