Plant Cell Reports

, Volume 26, Issue 12, pp 2071–2082 | Cite as

Stress-inducible expression of At DREB1A in transgenic peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) increases transpiration efficiency under water-limiting conditions

  • Pooja Bhatnagar-Mathur
  • M. Jyostna Devi
  • D. Srinivas Reddy
  • M. Lavanya
  • Vincent Vadez
  • R. Serraj
  • K. Yamaguchi-Shinozaki
  • Kiran K. Sharma
Genetic Transformation and Hybridization


Water deficit is the major abiotic constraint affecting crop productivity in peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.). Water use efficiency under drought conditions is thought to be one of the most promising traits to improve and stabilize crop yields under intermittent water deficit. A transcription factor DREB1A from Arabidopsis thaliana, driven by the stress inducible promoter from the rd29A gene, was introduced in a drought-sensitive peanut cultivar JL 24 through Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated gene transfer. The stress inducible expression of DREB1A in these transgenic plants did not result in growth retardation or visible phenotypic alterations. T3 progeny of fourteen transgenic events were exposed to progressive soil drying in pot culture. The soil moisture threshold where their transpiration rate begins to decline relative to control well-watered (WW) plants and the number of days needed to deplete the soil water was used to rank the genotypes using the average linkage cluster analysis. Five diverse events were selected from the different clusters and further tested. All the selected transgenic events were able to maintain a transpiration rate equivalent to the WW control in soils dry enough to reduce transpiration rate in wild type JL 24. All transgenic events except one achieved higher transpiration efficiency (TE) under WW conditions and this appeared to be explained by a lower stomatal conductance. Under water limiting conditions, one of the selected transgenic events showed 40% higher TE than the untransformed control.


Drought responsive element Drought Peanut Stomatal conductance Transgenic plants Transpiration efficiency Transcription factor 



Normalized transpiration rate


Fraction of transpirable soil water


Transpiration efficiency


Harvest index


Drought stressed




Days after sowing


Shoot induction medium


Shoot elongation medium


Root induction medium



We acknowledge JIRCAS, Japan for providing the gene constructs used in this study and Dr. Masa Ivanaga for his encouragement. We thank Dr. Dave Hoisington for critical review of the manuscripts, and D. Pandary, C. Jaganmohan Reddy, Md. Yousuf, and C. Lakshminarayana for excellent technical assistance. PB-M would like to thank Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad for providing an opportunity to register for Ph.D. program.

Supplementary material

299_2007_406_Fig9_ESM.jpg (24 kb)

Supplementary Figure 1. Relationship of TE and rate of water loss per unit leaf area in the transgenic groundnut events and the wild type control under well-watered (WW) conditionse

299_2007_406_Fig10_ESM.jpg (22 kb)

Supplementary Figure 2. Relationship of TE and stomatal conductance (Gs) in the transgenic groundnut events and the wild type control under well-watered (WW) conditions.

299_2007_406_Fig11_ESM.jpg (13 kb)

Supplementary Figure 3. Relationship of TE in both well-watered (WW) and drought stressed (DS) conditions in transgenic groundnut events and the wild type control under dry down cycle.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pooja Bhatnagar-Mathur
    • 1
  • M. Jyostna Devi
    • 1
  • D. Srinivas Reddy
    • 1
  • M. Lavanya
    • 1
  • Vincent Vadez
    • 1
  • R. Serraj
    • 2
  • K. Yamaguchi-Shinozaki
    • 3
  • Kiran K. Sharma
    • 1
  1. 1.International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)PatancheruIndia
  2. 2.International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)Metro ManilaPhilippines
  3. 3.Biological Resources DivisionJapan International Research Center for Agricultural SciencesTsukuba, IbarakiJapan

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