Potential for Genetic Engineering for Salt Tolerance

  • J. Mielenz
  • K. Andersen
  • R. Tait
  • R. C. Valentine
Part of the Environmental Science Research book series (ESRH, volume 14)


All living processes are ultimately coded for by heredity material, usually DNA. Salt tolerance is no exception, and it is reasonable to speak of “salt tolerance genes” codings for this property in both simple as well as complex organisms. Genetic engineering of salt tolerance is the application of genetic techniques for harnessing and manipulating the salt tolerance genes for production of food, fiber, oil and energy. For example, it is clear from the studies of Epstein and co-workers and Rains, reported in this volume, that higher plants have evolved salt tolerance genes allowing growth at different levels of salt in the environment. It is also well known that a variety of microorganisms have evolved salt tolerance genes. The potential for using techniques of recombinant DNA for genetic engineering of salt tolerance genes in bacteria is discussed here with the objective of increasing the utility and productivity of these organisms in a salty world. A brief discussion of various natural sources for isolating salt tolerance genes of microorganisms will be followed by a description of the current state of the art of “genetic engineering technology” as it might be applied to salt tolerance with the concluding sections dealing with symbiotic N2 fixation. These organisms share the outstanding property of harnessing solar energy as a power source for biological nitrogen fixation.


Salt Tolerance Gene Bank Biological Nitrogen Fixa Halophilic Bacterium Cyanogen Bromide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Brown, A. D. (1976) Bacteriol. Reviews 40, 803–846.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Measures, J. C. (1975) Nature 257, 398–400.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Larsen, H. (1962) in “The Bacteria1” (Gunsalus, I.C. and Stanier, R.Y., eds.) vol. 4, pp. 297–342, Academic Press: New York.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Shindler, D. B., Wydro, R.M. and Kushner, D.J. (1977) J. Bacteriol. 130, 698–703.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Matheson, A.T., Sprott, G.D., McDonald, I.J. and Tessier, H. (1976) Can. J. Microbiol. 22, 780–786.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Thomson, J.A., Woods, D.R. and Welton, R.L. (1972) J. Gen. Microbiol. 70, 315–319.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Woods, D.R. and Thomson, J.A. (1975) J. Gen. Microbiol. 88, 86–92.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Thomson, J.A. and Woods, D.R. (1973) J. Gen. Microbiol. 74, 71–76.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Flowers, T.J., Troke, P.F. and Yeo, A.R. (1977) Ann. Rev. Plant Physiol. 28, 89–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Shkedz-Finkler, C. and Avi-Dor, Y. (1975) Biochem. J. 150, 219–226.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Nathans, D. and Smith, H.O. (1975) Ann. Rev. Bio. 44, 273–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Roberts, R.J. (1976) Critical Rev. Biochem. 4, 123–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ratzkin, B. and Carbon, J. (1977) Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 75, 487–491.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Itakura, K., Hirose, T., Crea, R., Riggs, A. D., Heyneker, H. L., Bolivar, F. and Boyer, H. W. (1977) Science, 198, 1056–1063.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Vincent, J. M. (1974) in “The Biology of Nitrogen Fixation” (A. Quispel, ed.), North Holland: Amsterdam, pp. 277–367.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ullrich, W., Shine, J., Chirgwin, J., Pictet, R., Tischer, E., Rutter, W. J. and Goodman, H. M. (1977) Science 196, 1313–1319.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Mielenz
    • 1
  • K. Andersen
    • 1
  • R. Tait
    • 1
  • R. C. Valentine
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant Growth LaboratoryUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

Personalised recommendations