A constitutively active form of a durum wheat Na+/H+ antiporter SOS1 confers high salt tolerance to transgenic Arabidopsis

Kaouthar Feki, Francisco J. Quintero, Habib Khoudi, Eduardo O. Leidi, Khaled Masmoudi, Jose M. Pardo, Faiçal Brini

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89 Citations (Scopus)


Key message: Expression of a truncated form of wheat TdSOS1 in Arabidopsis exhibited an improved salt tolerance. This finding provides new hints about this protein that can be considered as a salt tolerance determinant. The SOS signaling pathway has emerged as a key mechanism in preserving the homeostasis of Na+ and K+ under saline conditions. We have recently identified and functionally characterized, by complementation studies in yeast, the gene encoding the durum wheat plasma membrane Na+/H+ antiporter (TdSOS1). To extend these functional studies to the whole plant level, we complemented Arabidopsis sos1-1 mutant with wild-type TdSOS1 or with the hyperactive form TdSOS1{increment}972 and compared them to the Arabidopsis AtSOS1 protein. The Arabidopsis sos1-1 mutant is hypersensitive to both Na+ and Li+ ions. Compared with sos1-1 mutant transformed with the empty binary vector, seeds from TdSOS1 or TdSOS1{increment}972 transgenic plants had better germination under salt stress and more robust seedling growth in agar plates as well as in nutritive solution containing Na+ or Li+ salts. The root elongation of TdSOS1{increment}972 transgenic lines was higher than that of Arabidopsis sos1-1 mutant transformed with TdSOS1 or with the endogenous AtSOS1 gene. Under salt stress, TdSOS1{increment}972 transgenic lines showed greater water retention capacity and retained low Na+ and high K+ in their shoots and roots. Our data showed that the hyperactive form TdSOS1{increment}972 conferred a significant ionic stress tolerance to Arabidopsis plants and suggest that selection of hyperactive alleles of the SOS1 transport protein may pave the way for obtaining salt-tolerant crops.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-288
Number of pages12
JournalPlant Cell Reports
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


  • Arabidopsis
  • Durum wheat
  • Hyperactive form
  • Ionic stress tolerance
  • Na/H antiporter SOS1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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