1887

Abstract

Glycine betaine (GB) is an important osmolyte synthesized in response to different abiotic stresses, including salinity. The two known pathways of GB synthesis involve: 1) two step oxidation of choline (choline → betaine aldehyde → GB), generally found in plants, microbes and animals; and 2) three step methylation of glycine (glycine → sarcosine → dimethylglycine → GB), mainly found in halophilic archaea, sulphur bacteria and the cyanobacterium () Here, we transformed a salt-sensitive freshwater diazotrophic filamentous cyanobacterium () with -methyltransferase genes ( from using the triparental conjugation method. The transformed synthesized and accumulated GB in cells, and showed increased salt tolerance and protection to nitrogenase activity. The salt responsiveness of the transformant was also apparent as GB synthesis increased with increasing concentrations of NaCl in the nutrient solution, and maximal [12.92 µmol (g dry weight)] in cells growing at 0.5 M NaCl. Therefore, the transformed cyanobacterium has changed its behaviour from preferring freshwater to halophily. This study may have important biotechnological implications for the development of stress tolerant nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria as biofertilizers for sustainable agriculture.

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2013-03-01
2019-10-17
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