Stress Protection of Transgenic Tobacco by Production of the Osmolyte Mannitol

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Science  22 Jan 1993:
Vol. 259, Issue 5094, pp. 508-510
DOI: 10.1126/science.259.5094.508


The accumulation of sugar alcohols and other low molecular weight metabolites such as proline and glycine-betaine is a widespread response that may protect against environmental stress that occurs in a diverse range of organisms. Transgenic tobacco plants that synthesize and accumulate the sugar alcohol mannitol were engineered by introduction of a bacterial gene that encodes mannitol 1 -phosphate dehydrogenase. Growth of plants from control and mannitol-containing lines in the absence and presence of added sodium chloride was analyzed. Plants containing mannitol had an increased ability to tolerate high salinity.

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