Up-regulation of a H+-pyrophosphatase (H+-PPase) as a strategy to engineer drought-resistant crop plants

Sunghun Park, Jisheng Li, Jon K. Pittman, Gerald A. Berkowitz, Haibing Yang, Soledad Undurraga, Jay Morris, Kendal D. Hirschi, Roberto A. Gaxiola

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)18830-18835
    Number of pages5
    JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
    Issue number52
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2005


    • Biotechnology
    • Root development
    • Tomato
    • Water deficit stress


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