Constitutive expression of CaXTH3, a hot pepper xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolase, enhanced tolerance to salt and drought stresses without phenotypic defects in tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicum cv. Dotaerang)

Jun Young Choi, Young Sam Seo, Su Jin Kim, Woo Taek Kim, Jeong Sheop Shin

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The hot pepper xyloglucan endo-trans-gluco-sylase/hydrolase (CaXTH3) gene that was inducible by a broad spectrum of abiotic stresses in hot pepper has been reported to enhance tolerance to drought and high salinity in transgenic Arabidopsis. To assess whether CaXTH3 is a practically useful target gene for improving the stress tolerance of crop plants, we ectopically over-expressed the full-length CaXTH3 cDNA in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum cv. Dotaerang) and found that the 35S:CaXTH3 transgenic tomato plants exhibited a markedly increased tolerance to salt and drought stresses. Transgenic tomato plants exposed to a salt stress of 100 mM NaCl retained the chlorophyll in their leaves and showed normal root elongation. They also remained green and unwithered following exposure to 2 weeks of dehydration. A high proportion of stomatal closures in 35S:CaXTH3 was likely to be conferred by increased cell-wall remodeling activity of CaXTH3 in guard cell, which may reduce transpirational water loss in response to dehydration stress. Despite this increased stress tolerance, the transgenic tomato plants showed no detectable phenotype defects, such as abnormal morphology and growth retardation, under normal growth conditions. These results raise the possibility that CaXTH3 gene is appropriate for application in genetic engineering strategies aimed at improving abiotic stress tolerance in agriculturally and economically valuable crop plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)867-877
Number of pages11
JournalPlant Cell Reports
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011 May 1



  • Agrobacterium-mediated transformation
  • Capsicum annuum xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolase 3 (CaXTH3)
  • Drought tolerance
  • Salt tolerance
  • Transgenic tomato

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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