Journal of Plant Biology

, 46:277

A comparative study on the protective role of trehalose and LEA proteins against abiotic stresses in transgenic Chinese cabbage (Brassica campestris) overexpressingCaLEA orotsA

  • Seong Hee Park
  • Sung-Soo Jun
  • Gynheung An
  • Young-Nam Hong
  • Min Chul Park

DOI: 10.1007/BF03030375

Cite this article as:
Park, S.H., Jun, SS., An, G. et al. J. Plant Biol. (2003) 46: 277. doi:10.1007/BF03030375


Trehalose and LEA proteins, representative low MW chemicals that are synthesized under dehydration, are known to protect plants from drought stress. To compare their effectiveness on enhancing tolerance against various abiotic stresses, we generated transgenic Chinese cabbage plants overexpressingE. ctdi trehalose-6-phosphate synthase gene (otsA) or hot pepper (Capsicum annuum) LEA protein gene(CaLEA). Both transgenic plants exhibited altered phenotype including stunted growth and aberrant root development When subjected to drought, salt or heat stress, these plants showed remarkably improved tolerance against those stresses compared with nontransformants. After dehydration treatment, leaf turgidity and fresh weight was better maintained in both transgenic plants. GaUEA-plants performed somewhat better under dehydrated condition. When treated with 250 mM NaCI, both otsA-plants and CaLEA-plants remained equally healthier than nontransformants in maintaining leaf turgidity and delaying necrosis. Furthermore, leaf Chi content and Fv/Fm was maintained considerably higher in both transgenic plants than nontransformants. After heat-treatment at 45°C, both transgenic plants appeared much less damaged in external shape and PSII function, but LEA proteins were more protective. Our results indicate that although both trehalose and LEA proteins are effective in protecting plants against various abiotic stresses, LEA proteins seem to be more promising in generating stress-tolerant transgenic plants.

Key words

dehydration high temperature photosynthesis salinity trehalose 



maximal fluorescence after dark-adaptation


initial fluorescence


variable fluorescence


maximum photochemical efficiency of PSII


late embryogenesis-abundant


polyethylene glycol





Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Korea 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seong Hee Park
    • 1
  • Sung-Soo Jun
    • 2
  • Gynheung An
    • 3
  • Young-Nam Hong
    • 2
  • Min Chul Park
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Life ScienceThe Catholic University of KoreaPuchonKorea
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesSeoul National UniversitySeoulKorea
  3. 3.National Research Laboratory of Plant Functional GenomicsDivision of Molecular and Life Science, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)PohangKorea

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