Many plants accumulate proline in response to salt stress. 𝛥-pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthetase (P5CS) is the rate-limiting enzyme in proline biosynthesis in plants. Plasmid DNA (pCHF3-PvP5CS1 and pCHF3-PvP5CS2) containing the selectable neomycin phosphotransferase gene for kanamycin resistance and Phaseolus vulgaris P5CS (PvP5CS1 and PvP5CS2) cDNA was introduced into Arabidopsis plants using Agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer. Southern blot, northern blot and RT-PCR analyses demonstrated that the foreign genes were integrated into Arabidopsis chromosomal DNA and expressed. Single-gene transformants were analysed in this study. Transgenic plants expressed higher levels of PvP5CS1 and PvP5CS2 transcripts under salt stress conditions than under normal conditions. When treated with 0, 100 and 200 mM NaCl, the average proline content in leaves of transgenic plants was significantly higher $(P \lt 0.01)$ than control plants. The average relative electrical conductivity (REC) of transgenic lines was significantly lower $(P \lt 0.01)$ than control plants under salt stress condition. Biomass production of transgenic lines was significantly higher $(P \lt 0.05)$ than control plants under 200 mM NaCl stress treatment. These results indicated that introducing PvP5CS1 and PvP5CS2 cDNA into transgenic Arabidopsis caused proline overproduction, increasing salt tolerance. Although the expression of PvP5CS1 in L4 lines and PvP5CS2 in S4 lines was the same under salt stress condition, the S4 lines accumulated 1.6 and 1.9 times more proline than the L4 lines under 100 and 200 mM NaCl treatments, respectively. The REC of S4 plants was 0.5 (100 mM NaCl) and 0.6 times (200 mM NaCl) that of L4 plants. The biomass production of S4 plants was 1.6 times (200 mM NaCl) more than in L4 plants. Total P5CS enzyme activity of S4 was significantly higher than that of L4. These results implied that the PvP5CS2 protein had stronger capacity to catalyze proline synthesis than PvP5CS1 under salt stress condition.
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