Transgenic tobacco plants expressing the bacterial levansucrase gene show enhanced tolerance to osmotic stress

Jeong Mee Park, Suk Yoon Kwon, Ki Bang Song, Ju Won Kwak, Suk Bae Lee, Young Woo Nam, Jeong Sheop Shin, Young In Park, Sang Ki Rhee, Kyung Hee Paek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Fructans are polyfructose molecules that function as nonstructural storage carbohydrates in several plants. In addition, it has been suggested that, due to their solubility, they can play an important role in helping plants survive periods of osmotic stress. In order to study the effect of levan synthesis on plant growth, the coding region of the levansucrase gene, which was isolated from Zymomonas mobilis, was introduced into tobacco plants using Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation. The presence of the levansucrase gene in transgenic plants was verified by genomic DNA gel blot analysis. RNA gel blot and immunoblot analyses showed an accumulation of the corresponding transcript and protein product of the bacterial levansucrase gene in transgenic plants. Furthermore, a thin layer chromatography analysis revealed that fructans were synthesized and deposited in transgenic tobacco plants. When T1 seeds were germinated and grown under polyethylene glycol- mediated drought stress or cold stress, the transgenic seedlings displayed a substantially higher level of growth than that of untransformed plants. These results suggest that fructans may play a significant role in the tolerance of plants under osmotic stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-218
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of microbiology and biotechnology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Apr


  • Levansucrase
  • Osmotic stress
  • Tobacco
  • Transgenic plant
  • Zymomonas mobilis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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