Using XhLEA, a group 1 vegetative Late Embryogenesis Abundant protein to aid water deficit tolerance in plants and microbes

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Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Late Embryogenesis Abundant (LEA) genes have been irrefutably linked to the osmotic stress response since their initial discovery in maturing cotton seeds. They have since been reported from a multitude of other organism where their occurrence is often associated with general responses to abiotic stress. Many studies have been conducted using LEA genes in over expression strategies to improve abiotic stress resistance. Of the known classes of LEAs, the group 1 LEAs have been widely reported, in plants, to only occur in seeds during late stages of development. Their expression coincides with the seeds acquisition of desiccation tolerance. In this thesis we present a group 1 LEA isolated from the desiccated vegetative tissues (leaves) of the resurrection plant Xerophyta humilis. Using E.coli and Arabidopsis we attempted to use XhLEA to improve salt and water deficit stress-responses, respectively. To this end we conducted soil-drought trials on two independent transgenic Arabidopsis lines expressing XhLEA under a drought inducible-promoter and monitored their responses as compared to untransformed WT (Col-0 ) controls. Solid substrate E.coli growth assays and liquid media growth curves under both stress and unstressed conditions were conducted. We found no obvious beneficial effect through the expression of XhLEA in either of the organisms.
AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Geen opsomming beskikbaar
Thesis (MSc)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.
Late Embryogenesis Abundant (LEA) protein, Resurrection plant, Water deficit, High salinity, UCTD