Enhancement of heavy metal accumulation by tissue specific co-expression of iaaM and ACC deaminase genes in plants.

PMID 18471863


1-Aminocyclopropane deaminase (ACC) and tryptophan monooxygenase are two enzymes involved in plant senescence-inhibiting and growth-promoting regulation, respectively. In this study, two binary vectors were constructed in which the Agrobacterium iaaM gene was under the transcriptional control of a xylem-specific glycine-rich protein promoter alone, or co-expressed with the bacterial ACC deaminase gene, which was driven by the constitutive CaMV 35S promoter. Transgenic petunia shoots co-expressing both genes were able to root on medium supplemented with 7.5 mg l(-1) CoCl2. When T1 transgenic tobacco plants were grown in sand supplemented with Cu2+ and Co2+, tissue specific co-expression of both iaaM and ACC deaminase genes showed faster growth with larger biomass with a more extensive root system, and accumulated a greater amount of heavy metals than the empty vector control plants. When T1 transgenic tobacco plants were grown in soil watered with different concentrations of CuSO4, xylem specific expression of the iaaM gene caused the accumulation of more Cu2+ than the empty vector control at lower CuSO4 concentrations, but showed severe toxic symptoms at concentration of 100 mg l(-1) CuSO4. T1 transgenic plants co-expressing both genes accumulated more heavy metals into the plant shoots and can tolerate CuSO4 at 150 mg l(-1). In addition, plants co-expressing these two genes can grow well in a complex contaminated soil containing both inorganic and organic pollutants, while the growth of the control plants was greatly inhibited.

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