Expression of the Arabidopsis vacuolar H+-pyrophosphatase gene (AVP1) improves the shoot biomass of transgenic barley and increases grain yield in a saline field

Rhiannon K. Schilling, Petra Marschner, Yuri N. Shavrukov, Bettina Berger, Mark A. Tester, Stuart John Roy, Darren Craig Plett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cereal varieties with improved salinity tolerance are needed to achieve profitable grain yields in saline soils. The expression of AVP1, an Arabidopsis gene encoding a vacuolar proton pumping pyrophosphatase (H+-PPase), has been shown to improve the salinity tolerance of transgenic plants in greenhouse conditions. However, the potential for this gene to improve the grain yield of cereal crops in a saline field has yet to be evaluated. Recent advances in high-throughput nondestructive phenotyping technologies also offer an opportunity to quantitatively evaluate the growth of transgenic plants under abiotic stress through time. In this study, the growth of transgenic barley expressing AVP1 was evaluated under saline conditions in a pot experiment using nondestructive plant imaging and in a saline field trial. Greenhouse-grown transgenic barley expressing AVP1 produced a larger shoot biomass compared to segregants, as determined by an increase in projected shoot area, when grown in soil with 150 mm NaCl. This increase in shoot biomass of transgenic AVP1 barley occurred from an early growth stage and also in nonsaline conditions. In a saline field, the transgenic barley expressing AVP1 also showed an increase in shoot biomass and, importantly, produced a greater grain yield per plant compared to wild-type plants. Interestingly, the expression of AVP1 did not alter barley leaf sodium concentrations in either greenhouse- or field-grown plants. This study validates our greenhouse-based experiments and indicates that transgenic barley expressing AVP1 is a promising option for increasing cereal crop productivity in saline fields. © 2013 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-386
Number of pages9
JournalPlant Biotechnology Journal
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 22 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Biotechnology

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