A plant peptide that enhances salt tolerance

May 17, 2018

Exogenous treatment of synthetic peptide successfully increased salt tolerance

RIKEN CSRS, Kyushu Institute of Technology and Utsunomiya University have collaboratively discovered a 13-peptide fragment that can be applied externally to enhance salt stress tolerance in plants.

The group began by focusing on 17 small genes that code for peptides in high-salt conditions, examining their salt stress tolerance in plants that overexpressed those genes. They found that four of the genes, which code for extracellularly excreted peptides, enhance salt stress tolerance when overexpressed.

The researchers then created a synthetic version of the AtPep3 peptide, which was the most highly expressed, and administered it to the plant to see if it exhibited stress tolerance. Results showed that external administration of synthetic AtPep3 showed an effect similar to overexpression of the AtPROPEP3 gene encoding AtPep3—that is, salt stress tolerance.

These research results are expected to have application in new agricultural methods using peptides, such as the development of salt stress–resistant crops and agricultural chemicals.


Original article
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America doi:10.1073/pnas.1719491115
K. Nakaminami, M. Okamoto, M. Higuchi-Takeuchi, T. Yoshizumi, Y. Yamaguchi, Y. Fukao, M. Shimizu, C. Ohashi, M. Tanaka, M. Matsui, K. Shinozaki, M. Seki, K. Hanada,
"AtPep3 is a hormone-like peptide that plays a role in the salinity stress tolerance of plants".

Kentaro Nakaminami; Research Scientist
Motoaki Seki; Team Leader
Plant Genomic Network Research Team

Kousuke Hanada; Visiting Scientist
Gene Discovery Research Group