Ability of transgenic poplars with elevated glutathione content to tolerate zinc(2+) stress

András Bittsánszky, Tamás Kömives, Gábor Gullner, Gábor Gyulai, József Kiss, László Heszky, László Radimszky, Heinz Rennenberg

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Phytoremediation potentials of four poplar lines, Populus nigra (N-SL clone), Populus canescens, and two transgenic P. canescens clones were investigated using in vitro leaf discs cultures. The transgenic poplars overexpressed a bacterial gene encoding γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase in the cytosol (11ggs) or in the chlopoplasts (6LgI), and therefore, they contained an elevated level of glutathione. Leaf discs of poplar clones were exposed to different concentrations of ZnSO4 for 21 days. Zinc(2+) was phytotoxic only at high concentrations (10-2 to 10-1 M) at all P. canescens lines, but P. nigra was more sensitive. Transgenic poplars showed elevated heavy metal uptake as compared to the nontransformed clones. Treatments with zinc(2+) strongly induced the activity of glutathione S-transferase enzyme in untransformed poplar lines but to a lesser extent in the transgenic clones. These results suggest that transgenic poplars are more suitable for phytoremediation of soils contaminated with zinc(2+) than wild-type plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-254
Number of pages4
JournalEnvironment International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005



  • Glutathione
  • Heavy metal
  • Phytoremediation
  • Transgenic poplar
  • Zinc
  • γ-Glutamylcysteine synthetase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

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