Plant Molecular Biology Reporter

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 596–604 | Cite as

The SlCMO Gene Driven by Its Own Promoter Enhances Salt Tolerance of Transgenic Tomato Without Affecting Growth and Yield

  • Qiu-Li LiEmail author
  • Lu-Di Lai
  • Xiao-Dong Yu
  • Jing-Yu Wang
Original Paper


Choline monooxygenase (CMO) is a key enzyme involved in betaine synthesis and our preliminary work has shown that the SlCMO gene promoter (pC5: − 267 to + 128 base pair), cloned from Suaeda liaotungensis, is salt-inducible. In the present study, pC5-SlCMO was transferred into tomato (Solanum lycopersicon L. ‘Micro-Tom’) plants via Agrobacterium mediation. Homozygous transgenic plants were selected using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. The expression of SlCMO in pC5-SlCMO transgenic plants was induced by salinity. Under salt tolerance, betaine content, chlorophyll content, and net photosynthetic rate were higher in transgenic plants than in wild-type (WT) plants. Proline content was lower in transgenic plants than in WT plants. Under normal conditions, seed germination, length of the whole plant, dry weight, and fruit products of transgenic plants were the same as in WT plants. These results demonstrated that the pC5 promoter can drive increased expression of SlCMO in transgenic tomato plants under salt stress and increase salt tolerance without affecting plant growth and yield.


Micro-Tom Salt-inducible promoter Salt tolerance SlCMO Suaeda liaotungensis





Base pair


Cauliflower mosaic virus


Choline monooxygenase




Indole acetic acid


Murashige and Skoog


Quantitative real-time PCR


Wild type





This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 30871389) and the Program for Liaoning Excellent Talents in University (No. 2009R36).

Authors’ Contributions

Qiuli Li designed the experiment and led the overall research. Ludi Lai developed the transgenic tomato plants. Xiaodong Yu performed the salt tolerance analysis and growth performance measurements of transgenic tomato plants. Jingyu Wang developed the molecular analysis of transgenic tomato plants. All authors contributed to manuscript development.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qiu-Li Li
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lu-Di Lai
    • 1
  • Xiao-Dong Yu
    • 1
  • Jing-Yu Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Life Sciences, Liaoning Normal UniversityKey Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology of Liaoning ProvinceDalianChina

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