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Betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase in sorghum. Molecular cloning and expression of two related genes

Plant Physiology 110(4): 1301-1308

Betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase in sorghum. Molecular cloning and expression of two related genes

The ability to synthesize and accumulate glycine betaine is widespread among angiosperms and is thought to contribute to salt and drought tolerance. In plants glycine betaine is synthesized by the two-step oxidation of choline via the intermediate betaine aldehyde, catalyzed by choline monooxygenase and betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase (BADH). Two sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) cDNA clones, BADH1 and BADH15, putatively encoding betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase were isolated and characterized. BADH1 is a truncated cDNA of 1391 bp. BADH15 is a full-length cDNA clone, 1812 bp in length, predicted to encode a protein of 53.6 kD. The predicted amino acid sequences of BADH1 and BADH15 share significant homology with other plant BADHs. The effects of water deficit on BADH mRNA expression, leaf water relations, and glycine betaine accumulation were investigated in leaves of preflowering sorghum plants. BADH1 and BADH15 mRNA were both induced by water deficit and their expression coincided with the observed glycine betaine accumulation. During the course of 17 d, the leaf water potential in stressed sorghum plants reached -2.3 MPa. In response to water deficit, glycine betaine levels increased 26-fold and proline levels increased 108-fold. In severely stressed plants, proline accounted for >60% of the total free amino acid pool. Accumulation of these compatible solutes significantly contributed to osmotic potential and allowed a maximal osmotic adjustment of 0.405 MPa.

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Accession: 002763990

DOI: 10.2307/4277114

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