Discovery of a new compound that increases salt tolerance in plants

May 26, 2020

Contributing to the development of fertilizers and pesticides that increase salt tolerance in crops

A joint research group of the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science, Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, and Kyoto University has discovered that a new compound “FSL0260” enhances the salt tolerance in plants.

Salt damage, which is caused by the accumulation of salts due to irrigation in agriculture or occurs in areas along the sea, gives significant negative impacts on the production of agricultural crops. Enhancement of salt tolerance in agricultural crops has been sought through conventional breeding methods, which are time-consuming.

The joint research group carried out screening to search for a compound that increases salt tolerance of plants using the RIKEN Natural Products Depository (NPDepo) compound library. As a result, the team successfully identified a novel compound, FSL0260. In addition, the group showed that FSL0260 inhibits complex I in the mitochondrial electron transport system, activates the mitochondrial alternative respiratory system, and then suppresses the accumulation of reactive oxygen species generated by high salt stress, enhancing salt tolerance of plants.

The findings in this study are expected to contribute to the development of salt-tolerance-enhancing fertilizers and agricultural chemicals that have low negative influence on human health.


Original article
Scientific Reports doi:10.1038/s41598-020-65614-9
K. Sako, Y. Futamura, T. Shimizu, A. Matsui, H. Hirano Y. Kondoh, M. Muroi, H. Aono, M. Tanaka, K. Honda, K. Shimizu, M. Kawatani, T. Nakano, H. Osada, K. Noguchi, M. Seki,
"Inhibition of mitochondrial complex I by the novel compound FSL0260 enhances high salinity-stress tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana".

Motoaki Seki
Team Leader
Plant Genomic Network Research Team