Yeast functional screen to identify genes conferring salt stress tolerance in salicornia europaea

Yoshiki Nakahara, Shogo Sawabe, Kenta Kainuma, Maki Katsuhara, Mineo Shibasaka, Masanori Suzuki, Kosuke Yamamoto, Suguru Oguri, Hikaru Sakamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Salinity is a critical environmental factor that adversely affects crop productivity. Halophytes have evolved various mechanisms to adapt to saline environments. Salicornia europaea L. is one of the most salt-tolerant plant species. It does not have special salt-secreting structures like a salt gland or salt bladder, and is therefore a good model for studying the common mechanisms underlying plant salt tolerance. To identify candidate genes encoding key proteins in the mediation of salt tolerance in S. europaea, we performed a functional screen of a cDNA library in yeast. The library was screened for genes that allowed the yeast to grow in the presence of 1.3 M NaCl. We obtained three full-length S. europaea genes that confer salt tolerance. The genes are predicted to encode (1) a novel protein highly homologous to thaumatin-like proteins, (2) a novel coiled-coil protein of unknown function, and (3) a novel short peptide of 32 residues. Exogenous application of a synthetic peptide corresponding to the 32 residues improved salt tolerance of Arabidopsis. The approach described in this report provides a rapid assay system for large-scale screening of S. europaea genes involved in salt stress tolerance and supports the identification of genes responsible for such mechanisms. These genes may be useful candidates for improving crop salt tolerance by genetic transformation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number920
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
Issue numberOCTOBER
Publication statusPublished - Oct 28 2015


  • Coiled-coil protein
  • Salicornia europaea L
  • Salt stress
  • Short peptide
  • Thaumatin-like protein
  • Yeast functional screen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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