Isolation and characterization of a salt stress-responsive betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase in Lycium ruthenicum Murr

Yongliang Liu, Yanli Song, Shaohua Zeng, Barunava Patra, Ling Yuan, Ying Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


As compatible solute, glycine betaine (GB) plays a significant role in salinity tolerance in GB accumulating plants. Solanaceous crops such as tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) are salt sensitive and naturally GB non-accumulators. In Solanaceae, only the Lycium genus has been recorded as halophytes in China, and several Lycium species have been reported as GB accumulators. The last biosynthetic step of GB is catalyzed by aminoaldehyde dehydrogenase (AMADH) with betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase (BADH) activities. Failure of GB synthesis in tomato and tobacco was attributed to lack of BADH activity. Here, by comparing the BADH functional residues of AMADHs between the Lycium genus and solanaceous crops, we predict that all studied AMADH1s have low BADH activities while only LbAMADH2 from L. barbarum has high BADH activity. For two AMADHs in L. ruthenicum, results from substrate enzyme assays confirmed low BADH activity of LrAMADH1 and no BADH activity of LrAMADH2. Despite the very low GB contents in L. ruthenicum seedlings (< 0.5 μmol g−1 fresh weight), GB contents in fruits are up to 150 μmol g−1 FW, inferring fruits of L. ruthenicum as good GB sources. In NaCl treated seedlings, accompanied by elevated GB accumulation, expression of LrAMADH1 was up-regulated, indicating response of LrAMADH1 to salt stress in L. ruthenicum. Virus-induced silence of LrAMADH1 leads to less GB accumulation than control, revealing that LrAMADH1 participates in GB synthesis in planta. Collectively, our results show that LrAMADH1 is the bona fide BADH, which responds to salt stress in L. ruthenicum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-87
Number of pages15
JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Scandinavian Plant Physiology Society

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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