J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2007, Vol. 49 ›› Issue (5): -.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2007.00464.x

Special Issue: Abiotic Stresses

• Stress & Phytochemistry •    

Physiological and Growth Responses of Tomato Progenies Harboring the Betaine Alhyde Dehydrogenase Gene to Salt Stress

Shu-Feng Zhou, Xian-Yang Chen, Xing-Ning Xue, Xin-Guo Zhang and Yin-Xin Li   

Abstract: The responses of five transgenic tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill) lines containing the betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase (BADH) gene to salt stress were evaluated. Proline, betaine (N, N, N-trimethylglycine, hereafter betaine), chlorophyll and ion contents, BADH activity, electrolyte leakage (EL), and some growth parameters of the plants under 1.0% and 1.5% NaCl treatments were examined. The transgenic tomatoes had enhanced BADH activity and betaine content, compared to the wild type under stress conditions. Salt stress reduced chlorophyll contents to a higher extent in the wild type than in the transgenic plants. The wild type exhibited significantly higher proline content than the transgenic plants at 0.9% and 1.3% NaCl. Cell membrane of the wild type was severely damaged as determined by higher EL under salinity stress. K+ and Ca2+ contents of all tested lines decreased under salt stress, but the transgenic plants showed a significantly higher accumulation of K+ and Ca2+ than the wild type. In contrast, the wild type had significantly higher Cl?and Na+ contents than the transgenic plants under salt stress. Although yield reduction among various lines varied, the wild type had the highest yield reduction. Fruit quality of the transgenic plants was better in comparison with the wild type as shown by a low ratio of blossom end rot fruits. The results show that the transgenic plants have improved salt tolerance over the wild type.

Key words: betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase activity, betaine contents, salt tolerance, tomato, transgenic plants.

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