Differential contribution of individual dehydrin genes from Physcomitrella patens to salt and osmotic stress tolerance

Cecilia Ruibal, Imma Pérez Salamó, Valentina Carballo, Alexandra Castro, Marcel Bentancor, Omar Borsani, László Szabados, Sabina Vidal

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35 Citations (Scopus)


The moss . Physcomitrella patens can withstand extreme environmental conditions including drought and salt stress. Tolerance to dehydration in mosses is thought to rely on efficient limitation of stress-induced cell damage and repair of cell injury upon stress relief. Dehydrin proteins (DHNs) are part of a conserved cell protecting mechanism in plants although their role in stress tolerance is not well understood. Four DHNs and two DHN-like proteins were identified in the predicted proteome of . P. patens. Expression of . PpDHNA and . PpDHNB was induced by salt and osmotic stress and controlled by abscisic acid. Subcellular localization of the encoded proteins suggested that these dehydrins are localized in cytosol and accumulate near membranes during stress. Comparative analysis of . dhnA and . dhnB targeted knockout mutants of . P. patens revealed that both genes play a role in cellular protection during salt and osmotic stress, although . PpDHNA has a higher contribution to stress tolerance. Overexpression of . PpDHNA and . PpDHNB genes in transgenic . Arabidopsis improved rosette and root growth in stress conditions, although . PpDHNA was more efficient in this role. These results suggest that specific DHNs contribute considerably to the high stress tolerance of mosses and offer novel tools for genetic engineering stress tolerance of higher plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-102
Number of pages14
JournalPlant Science
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2012



  • ABA
  • Abiotic stress
  • Dehydrins
  • LEA proteins
  • Moss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

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