Metallothioneins (MTs) are cysteine-rich proteins of low molecular weight with many attributed functions, such as providing protection against metal toxicity, being involved in regulation of metal ions uptake that can impact plant physiology and providing protection against oxidative stress. However, the precise function of the metallothionein-like proteins such as the one coded for rgMT gene isolated from rice (Oryza sativa L.) is not completely understood. The whole genome analysis of rice (O. sativa) showed that the rgMT gene is homologue to the Os11g47809 on chromosome 11 of O. sativa sp. japonica genome. This study used the rgMT coding sequence to create transgenic lines to investigate the subcellular localization of the protein, as well as the impact of gene expression in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and Arabidopsis thaliana under heavy metal ion, salt and oxidative stresses. The results indicate that the rgMT gene was expressed in the cytoplasm of transgenic cells. Yeast cells transgenic for rgMT showed vigorous growth compared to the nontransgenic controls when exposed to 7mM CuCl2, 10 mM FeCl2, 1 M NaCl, 24 mM NaHCO3 and 3.2 mM H2O2, but there was no significant difference for other stresses tested. Similarly, Arabidopsis transgenic for rgMT displayed significantly improved seed germination rates over that of the control when the seeds were stressed with 100 𝜇M CuCl2 or 1 mM H2O2. Increased biomass was observed in the presence of 100 𝜇M CuCl2, 220 𝜇M FeCl2, 3 mM Na2CO3, 5 mM NaHCO3 or 1 mM H2O2. These results indicate that the expression of the rice rgMT gene in transgenic yeast and Arabidopsis is implicated in improving their tolerance for certain salt and peroxide stressors.
Volume 100, 2021
Continuous Article Publishing mode
Click here for Editorial Note on CAP Mode