Efficient assimilation of sulfide by transgenic rice plants over-expressing a rice cysteine synthase
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Hydrogen sulfide is a major environmental pollutant, highly toxic to living organisms at high concentrations. Even at low concentrations, it causes an unpleasant odor from wetlands, especially from wastewater. Plants can utilize hydrogen sulfide as a sulfur source to synthesize cysteine, which then serves as the principal substrate for synthesis of other sulfur containing compounds including glutathione and methionine. It was thus feasible to use aquatic plants, which possess high potential for sulfur assimilation, to remove hydrogen sulfide from the wetland. To this end, we have generated transgenic rice plants over-expressing cysteine synthase, a key enzyme in the sulfur assimilation pathway, and evaluated their capacity for sulfur uptake on hydrogen sulfide treatment. The obtained transgenic plants exhibited 3-fold elevated cysteine synthase activity, and incorporated more hydrogen sulfide into cysteine and glutathione than their wild type counterparts upon exposure to a high level of hydrogen sulfide. These observations suggest that over-expression of cysteine synthase in aquatic plants is a viable approach to remove hydrogen sulfide from polluted environments.
- Plant tissue culture letters
Plant tissue culture letters 23(1), 117-122, 2006-03-01
Japanese Society for Plant Cell and Molecular Biology