Reference: Shim D, et al. (2013) Transgenic poplar trees expressing yeast cadmium factor 1 exhibit the characteristics necessary for the phytoremediation of mine tailing soil. Chemosphere 90(4):1478-86

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Abstract


Genetic engineering of plants for phytoremediation is thought to be possible based on results using model plants expressing genes involved in heavy metal resistance, which improve the plant's tolerance of heavy metals and accumulation capacity. The next step of progress in this technology requires the genetic engineering of plants that produce large amounts of biomass and the testing of these transgenic plants in contaminated soils. Thus, we transformed a sterile line of poplar Populus alba X P. tremula var. glandulosa with a heavy metal resistance gene, ScYCF1 (yeast cadmium factor 1), which encodes a transporter that sequesters toxic metal(loid)s into the vacuoles of budding yeast, and tested these transgenic plants in soil taken from a closed mine site contaminated with multiple toxic metal(loid)s under greenhouse and field conditions. The YCF1-expressing transgenic poplar plants exhibited enhanced growth, reduced toxicity symptoms, and increased Cd content in the aerial tissue compared to the non-transgenic plants. Furthermore, the plants accumulated increased amounts of Cd, Zn, and Pb in the root, because they could establish an extensive root system in mine tailing soil. These results suggest that the generation of YCF1-expressing transgenic poplar represents the first step towards producing plants for phytoremediation. The YCF1-expressing poplar may be useful for phytostabilization and phytoattenuation, especially in highly contaminated regions, where wild-type plants cannot survive.

Reference Type
Journal Article
Authors
Shim D, Kim S, Choi YI, Song WY, Park J, Youk ES, Jeong SC, Martinoia E, Noh EW, Lee Y
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