, Volume 255, Issue 4, pp 1161–1177 | Cite as

Overexpression of AlTMP2 gene from the halophyte grass Aeluropus littoralis in transgenic tobacco enhances tolerance to different abiotic stresses by improving membrane stability and deregulating some stress-related genes

  • Walid Ben-Romdhane
  • Rania Ben-Saad
  • Donaldo Meynard
  • Nabil Zouari
  • Ali Mahjoub
  • Lotfi Fki
  • Emmanuel Guiderdoni
  • Abdullah Al-Doss
  • Afif Hassairi
Original Article


Herein, we report isolation of the AlTMP2 gene from the halophytic C4 grass Aeluropus littoralis. The subcellular localization suggested that AlTMP2 is a plasma membrane protein. In A. littoralis exposed to salt and osmotic stresses, the AlTMP2 gene was induced early and at a high rate, but was upregulated relatively later in response to abscisic acid and cold treatments. Expression of AlTMP2 in tobacco conferred improved tolerance against salinity, osmotic, H2O2, heat, and freezing stresses at the germination and seedling stages. Under control conditions, no growth or yield penalty were mentioned in transgenic plants due to the constitutive expression of AlTMP2. Interestingly, under greenhouse conditions, the seed yield of transgenic plants was significantly higher than that of non-transgenic (NT) plants grown under salt or drought stress. Furthermore, AlTMP2 plants had less electrolyte leakage, higher membrane stability, and lower Na+ and higher K+ accumulation than NT plants. Finally, six stress-related genes were shown to be deregulated in AlTMP2 plants relative to NT plants under both control and stress conditions. Collectively, these results indicate that AlTMP2 confers abiotic stress tolerance by improving ion homeostasis and membrane integrity, and by deregulating certain stress-related genes.


Abiotic stress tolerance Aeluropus littoralis AlPMP2 Ion homeostasis Membrane stability Electrolyte leakage 



This work was funded by The National Plan for Science Technology and Innovation,, (NPSTI, Project No. 11-Bio1828-02) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The authors are grateful to the Deanship of Scientific Research, King Saud University and Agricultural Research Center, College of Food and Agriculture Sciences. The authors thank the Visiting Professor Program of King Saud University Saudi Arabia and the Agropolis Foundation under the REFUGE platform, CIRAD-Montpellier France, for encouraging this collaborative work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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ESM 1 (DOCX 4833 kb)
709_2018_1223_MOESM2_ESM.docx (20 kb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 20 kb)


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Plant Production Department, College of Food and Agricultural SciencesKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Biotechnology and Plant Improvement LaboratoryCentre of Biotechnology of Sfax, University of SfaxSfaxTunisia
  3. 3.CIRAD-UMR AGAP (Centre de coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement)Avenue AgropolisMontpellier Cedex 5France
  4. 4.Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology Applied to Crop Improvement, Faculty of Sciences of SfaxUniversity of SfaxSfaxTunisia

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