, Volume 201, Issue 3, pp 293–297 | Cite as

Expression of the yeast trehalose-6-phosphate synthase gene in transgenic tobacco plants: pleiotropic phenotypes include drought tolerance

  • Carlos Romero
  • José M. Bellés
  • José L. Vayá
  • Ramón Serrano
  • Francisco A. Culiáñez-MaciàEmail author


The yeast trehalose-6-phosphate synthase gene (TPS1) was engineered under the control of the cauliflower mosaic virus regulatory sequences (CaMV35S) for expression in plants. Using Agrobacterium-mediated transfer, the gene was incorporated into the genomic DNA and constitutively expressed in Nicotiana tabacum L. plants. Trehalose was determined in the transformants, by anion-exchange chromatography coupled to pulsed amperometric detection. The non-reducing disaccharide accumulated up to 0.17 mg per g fresh weight in leaf extracts of transgenic plants. Trehaloseaccumulating plants exhibited multiple phenotypic alterations, including stunted growth, lancet-shaped leaves, reduced sucrose content and improved drought tolerance. These pleiotropic effects, and the fact that water loss from detached leaves was not significantly affected by trehalose accumulation, suggest that synthesis of this sugar, rather than leading to an osmoprotectant effect, had altered sugar metabolism and regulatory pathways affecting plant development and stress tolerance.

Key words

Drought tolerance Nicotiana Osmotic stress Transgenic plants Trehalose 



gene encoding trehalose-6-phosphate synthase


cauliflower mosaic virus


cauliflower mosaic virus regulatory sequences


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos Romero
    • 1
  • José M. Bellés
    • 1
  • José L. Vayá
    • 1
  • Ramón Serrano
    • 1
  • Francisco A. Culiáñez-Macià
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de PlantasUniversidad Politécnica de Valencia C.S.I.C.ValenciaSpain

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