Engineering drought-resistant crop plants is a critically important objective. Overexpression of the vacuolar H+-pyrophosphatase (H +-PPase) AVP1 in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana results in enhanced performance under soil water deficits. Recent work demonstrates that AVP1 plays an important role in root development through the facilitation of auxin fluxes. With the objective of improving crop performance, we expressed AVP1 in a commercial cultivar of tomato. This approach resulted in (i) greater pyrophosphate-driven cation transport into root vacuolar fractions, (ii) increased root biomass, and (iii) enhanced recovery of plants from an episode of soil water deficit stress. More robust root systems allowed transgenic tomato plants to take up greater amounts of water during the imposed water deficit stress, resulting in a more favorable plant water status and less injury. This study documents a general strategy for improving drought resistance of crops. © 2005 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 27 Dec 2005|
- Root development
- Water deficit stress