Establishment of the evaluation system of salt tolerance on transgenic woody plants in the special netted-house

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Salinity is regarded as a major factor impacting the growth of plants such as trees. Transgenic technology is considered an effective approach to minimizing salt damage by enhancing a plant's salt tolerance. Currently, most of the research on transgenic woody plants is still limited to the laboratory level in vitro and in growth chambers. However, the confined laboratory evaluation of salt tolerance condition yields minimal information since various factors that significantly impact growth, such as weather and season, do not come into play. Field level evaluation of salt tolerance is necessary but is limited in Japan. Transgenic plants should be evaluated in semi-confinement before they are moved to open fields. Therefore, an effective evaluation method for salt tolerance in woody plants is needed in semi-confinement. To evaluate the salt tolerance of transgenic Eucalyptus under semi-confined conditions, we initially developed a new evaluation method using non-transgenic E. camaldulensis. The duration of salt treatment was determined to be the point in time when half of the plants started to exhibit wilting. Additionally, the plants were continuously irrigated with fresh water as a final procedure. With the evaluation system in place, the salt tolerance of transgenic E. globulus containing the choline oxidase (codA) gene was measured. The transgenic plants showed higher survival rates than the non-transgenic plants. This result indicated that the salt tolerance of transgenic E. globulus was enhanced by the introduced codA gene and also established that the new evaluation system is valuable for testing transgenic plants in semi-confinement and will contribute to an increase in the useful applications of transgenic plants.


  • Plant Biotechnology

    Plant Biotechnology 26 (1), 135-141, 2009

    Japanese Society for Plant Biotechnology

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