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South African Journal of Science

On-line version ISSN 1996-7489

S. Afr. j. sci. vol.103 n.3-4 Pretoria Mar./Apr. 2007

 

RESEARCH LETTERS

 

Enhanced drought tolerance in transgenic potato expressing the Arabidopsis thaliana Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase gene

 

 

A. Van der MeschtI; J.A. De RondeII; M.M. SlabbertIII; D. OelofseII

IMangosuthu Technikon, P.O. Box 12363, Jacobs, Durban 4026, South Africa
IIARC-VOPI, Private Bag X293, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
IIIDepartment of Agricultural Management, Tshwane University of Technology, Private Bag X680, Pretoria 0001, South Africa

 

 


ABSTRACT

All aerobic organisms must possess the means to protect themselves from the toxic effects of reduced oxygen species generated during the normal metabolic activity of cells or as a result of environmental stresses such as drought. Cells are protected from the deleterious effects of free oxygen radicals by Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD), which catalyses the initial step in neutralizing activated oxygen species. In the study reported here, the potato cultivar Aviva was transformed with a cytosolic Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase gene from Arabidopsis thaliana using Agrobacterium-mediated gene transformation. Four transgenic potato lines were identified and evaluated for drought tolerance in the greenhouse. Two transformed lines could withstand drought in the greenhouse for two weeks longer than the untransformed plants and one week longer than two other transformed lines. These findings were confirmed by data from enzyme activity as well as by 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride reduction.


 

 

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Received 30 March 1999
Accepted 8 April 2007.

 

 

* Author for correspondence. E-mail: anette@julian.mantec.ac.za

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