Transgenic Expression of MsHsp23 Confers Enhanced Tolerance to Abiotic Stresses in Tall Fescue

  • Lee, Ki-Won ;
  • Choi, Gi-Jun ;
  • Kim, Ki-Yong ;
  • Ji, Hee-Jung ;
  • Park, Hyung-Soo ;
  • Kim, Yong-Goo ;
  • Lee, Byung-Hyun ;
  • Lee, Sang-Hoon
  • Received : 2012.01.15
  • Accepted : 2012.03.29
  • Published : 2012.06.01


Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) is an important cool season forage plant that is not well suited to extreme heat, salts, or heavy metals. To develop transgenic tall fescue plants with enhanced tolerance to abiotic stress, we introduced an alfalfa Hsp23 gene expression vector construct through Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Integration and expression of the transgene were confirmed by polymerase chain reaction, northern blot, and western blot analyses. Under normal growth conditions, there was no significant difference in the growth of the transgenic plants and the non-transgenic controls. However, when exposed to various stresses such as salt or arsenic, transgenic plants showed a significantly lower accumulation of hydrogen peroxide and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances than control plants. The reduced accumulation of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances indicates that the transgenic plants possessed a more efficient reactive oxygen species-scavenging system. We speculate that the high levels of MsHsp23 proteins in the transgenic plants protect leaves from oxidative damage through chaperon and antioxidant activities. These results suggest that MsHsp23 confers abiotic stress tolerance in transgenic tall fescue and may be useful in developing stress tolerance in other crops.


Tall Fescue;Forage;Agrobacterium tumefaciens;MsHsp23;Transformation


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