Overexpression of Maize Gene Enhances Salt and Drought Tolerance in Transgenic Tobacco
Sumoylation, a post-translational modification process involving small
ubiquitin-like modifiers (SUMOs), play a vital part in higher plants'
responses to stress. However, the mechanisms underlying the involvement of
Sumoylation in stress responses are yet to be explored. Scientists from
Henan Agricultural University in China conducted a study to investigate the
effect of SUMO conjugating enzyme gene in salt and drought tolerance. The
results are published in Plant Science.
The researchers isolated and analyzed a putative SUMO conjugating enzyme
ortholog from maize (ZmSCE1e). Analyses showed that ZmSCE1e contains a
central active domain similar to known SCE1 proteins, but is the
cereal-specific isoform. They also over-expressed ZmSCE1e in tobacco plants,
which led to increased levels of SUMO conjugates and improved their
tolerances to salt and drought stresses. Amplification techniques showed
that stress defense genes were significantly boosted in the
The results may contribute in accelerating genetic improvement of crop
plants with tolerance to environmental stresses.