Acta Physiologiae Plantarum

, 41:155 | Cite as

Transformation of wheat Triticum aestivum with the HvBADH1 transgene from hulless barley improves salinity-stress tolerance

  • Pengfei Li
  • Jing Cai
  • Xiao Luo
  • Tianliang Chang
  • Jiaxing Li
  • Yuwei ZhaoEmail author
  • Yao XuEmail author
Original Article


Studies have shown that the stress tolerance of cereal plants to osmotic or salinity stresses can be improved to varying degrees by the overexpression of an introduced betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase (BADH) gene. In the present study, the HvBADH1 gene from Hordeum vulgare L. var. nudum Hook. f., encoding a cytosolic BADH, was transferred into Triticum aestivum via traditional Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation. Molecular methods, such as PCR, Southern blot analysis, and real-time quantitative RT-PCR were used to identify the successful integration and expression of the HvBADH1 transgene in genetically transformed wheat lines. To detect the efficacy of the HvBADH1 transgene in the transformants, some pivotal physiological indicators that reflected abiotic stress tolerance were measured in individual transgenic plant lines. These indicators included intracellular K+ and Na+ contents or K+/Na+ ratio, relative conductivity, and malondialdehyde and glycine betaine (GB) concentrations in cells. The results revealed that all the tested transgenic lines could significantly increase the recruitments of K+ in their cytosol than the wild-type seedlings. Similarly, 11.59- to 21.82-fold greater accumulation of GB, 2.11–2.56 times higher calli relative growth rates, and 26.2–29.1% seedling survival rates were found in transgenic lines under 150 mM NaCl stressed conditions. Our results demonstrated that by overexpressing the HvBADH1 transgene in genetically transformed wheat, the overall salt tolerance of the target plants was significantly increased, and the damaging effects of high salinity were significantly reduced.

Article Highlights

  • We set up a new Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated Triticum aestivum L. transformation method.

  • HvBADH1 was transferred into the genome of Triticum aestivum L.

  • HvBADH1 gene can improve the salt tolerance of transgenic Triticum aestivum L.


HvBADH1 Triticum aestivum Genetic transformation Salt stress resistance Glycine betaine 



This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant number: 31470329), the Research Project of Provincial Key Laboratory of Shaanxi (Grant number: 17JS127) and the Research Project of Key Laboratory of Resource Biology and Biotechnology in Western China (Grant no: ZSK2018005).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All the authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

Human and animal rights

Our study has no research involved human participants or animals.


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Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Provincial Key Laboratory of Biotechnology of Shaanxi Province, Key Laboratory of Resource Biology and Biotechnology in Western China (Ministry of Education)Life Sciences School of Northwest UniversityXi’anPeople’s Republic of China

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