Arsenic pollution in soil has been a serious problem all over the world.
Hence, it is very important to study plants' stress-response mechanisms for
phytoremediation. The team of Yanli Liu from Chinese Academy of Sciences
studied the arsenate-tolerant Populus deltoides and the arsenate-sensitive
Populus × euramericana to search for the gene for arsenic resistance.
Comparisons between these two cultivars showed that P. deltoides exhibited
lesser morphological and structural injury, lower ROS and MDA accumulation,
and higher photosynthesis and ROS scavenging ability under arsenate stress
compared to P. euramericana.
Analysis revealed that most of the identified arsenate-responsive proteins
were stress and defense related. Among these proteins, PdDRT102 was found to
be only highly induced in P. deltoides under arsenate stress. Heterologous
overexpression of PdDRT102 in Arabidopsis also conferred enhanced tolerance
to arsenate and sodium chloride.
Together, these results revealed that PdDRT102 is involved in protecting
poplars against arsenate stress and could have the potential to be used for
developing crops for phytoremediation against arsenic pollution.