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Expressing Arabidopsis thaliana V-ATPase subunit C in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) improves plant performance under saline condition by enabling better osmotic adjustment
Salinity is a global problem affecting agriculture resulting in an estimated US$27Bln loss in revenue per year. Overexpression of vacuolar ATPase subunits has been shown to be beneficial in improving plant performance under saline conditions. Most studies, however, have not shown if overexpression of genes encoding ATPase subunits result in improvements in grain yield, and/or have investigated the physiological mechanisms behind the improvement in plant growth. In this study, we constitutively expressed Arabidopsis Vacuolar ATPase subunit C (AtVHA-C) in barley. Transgenic plants were assessed for agronomical and physiological characteristics, such as fresh and dry biomass, leaf pigment content, stomatal conductance, grain yield, and leaf Na+ and K+ content, when grown in either 0 or 300 mM NaCl. When compared to non-transformed barley, AtVHA-C expressing barley lines have a smaller reduction in both biomass and grain yield under salinity stress. The transgenic lines accumulated Na+ and K+ in the leaf to be used for osmotic adjustment saving the energy consumed to synthesis organic osmolytes that otherwise be needed for osmotic adjustment.
FP17133 Accepted 28 July 2017
© CSIRO 2017