J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2010, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (7): 653-669.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2010.00956.x

• Molecular Physiology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Senescence-Inducible Expression of Isopentenyl Transferase Extends Leaf Life, Increases Drought Stress Resistance and Alters Cytokinin Metabolism in Cassava

Peng Zhang1,2*, Wen-Quan Wang3, Gen-Liang Zhang3, Miroslav Kaminek4, Petre Dobrev4, Jia Xu5 and Wilhelm Gruissem1,2   

  1. 1Shanghai Center for Cassava Biotechnology, National Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics, Institute of Plant Physiology & Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200032, China
    2Department of Biology, Plant Biotechnology, ETH Zurich, University strasse 2, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
    3Institute of Tropical Biosciences and Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Science, Haikou 571101, China
    4Institute of Experimental Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Rozvojova 263, CZ-165 02 Prague 6, Czech Republic
    5Key Laboratory of Synthetic Biology, Institute of Plant Physiology & Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200032, China
  • Received:2009-09-24 Accepted:2010-03-21 Published:2010-07-01
  • About author:*Author for correspondence Tel.: +86 21 5492 4096; Fax: +86 21 5492 4318; E-mail: zhangpeng@sibs.ac.cn


Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) sheds its leaves during growth, especially within the tropical dry season. With the production of SAG12-IPT transgenic cassava we want to test the level of leaf retention and altered cytokinin metabolism of transgenic plants via the autoregulatory senescence inhibition system. After confirmation of transgene expression by molecular analysis and phenotype examination in greenhouse plants, two transgenic plant lines, 529-28 and 529-48, were chosen for further investigation. Detached mature leaves of 529-28 plants retained high levels of chlorophyll compared with wild-type leaves after dark-induced senescence treatment. Line 529-28 showed significant drought tolerance as indicated by stay-green capacity after drought stress treatment. Field experiments proved that leaf senescence syndrome was significantly delayed in 529-28 plants in comparison with wild-type and 529-48 plants. Physiological and agronomical characterizations of these plants also revealed that the induced expression of IPT had effects on photosynthesis, sugar allocation and nitrogen partitioning. Importantly, the 529-28 plants accumulated a high level of trans-zeatin-type cytokinins particularly of corresponding storage O-glucosides to maintain cytokinin homeostasis. Our study proves the feasibility of prolonging the leaf life of woody cassava and also sheds light on the control of cytokinin homeostasis in cassava leaves.

Zhang P, Wang WQ, Zhang GL, Kaminek M, Dobrev P, Xu J, Gruissem W (2010) Senescence-inducible expression of isopentenyl transferase extends leaf life, increases drought stress resistance and alters cytokinin metabolism in cassava. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 52(7), 653–669.

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