Potential for Genetic Engineering for Salt Tolerance
All living processes are ultimately coded for by heredity material, usually DNA. Salt tolerance is no exception, and it is reasonable to speak of “salt tolerance genes” codings for this property in both simple as well as complex organisms. Genetic engineering of salt tolerance is the application of genetic techniques for harnessing and manipulating the salt tolerance genes for production of food, fiber, oil and energy. For example, it is clear from the studies of Epstein and co-workers and Rains, reported in this volume, that higher plants have evolved salt tolerance genes allowing growth at different levels of salt in the environment. It is also well known that a variety of microorganisms have evolved salt tolerance genes. The potential for using techniques of recombinant DNA for genetic engineering of salt tolerance genes in bacteria is discussed here with the objective of increasing the utility and productivity of these organisms in a salty world. A brief discussion of various natural sources for isolating salt tolerance genes of microorganisms will be followed by a description of the current state of the art of “genetic engineering technology” as it might be applied to salt tolerance with the concluding sections dealing with symbiotic N2 fixation. These organisms share the outstanding property of harnessing solar energy as a power source for biological nitrogen fixation.
KeywordsSalt Tolerance Gene Bank Biological Nitrogen Fixa Halophilic Bacterium Cyanogen Bromide
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