Novel strategies to isolate genes important for stress tolerance in plants.

Project Details


Oxidative stress is involved in many types of physiological stress in plants, including drought, heat, cold and waterlogging. In a collaborative project between the Laboratorium voor Genetika of the Rijksuniversiteit Gent ("Genetika") and the Laboratorium voor Biofysika van de WB ("Biofysika"), research is carried out into the mechanism of oxidative stress tolerance. At Genetika, transgenic plants of Nicotiana tahacum cv. SR1 are generated, which overexpress antioxidant enzymes in the chloroplasts. The overexpressed enzymes include superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase. In addition, new genes coding for antioxidant enzymes are isolated by novel techniques, such as complementation of stress-sensitive yeast, and differential display. At Biofysika, transgenic and control plants are tested for oxidative stress tolerance. This is done firstly in model systems adapted specifically to the type of overexpressed enzyme. To that end, leaf discs are incubated with compounds generating specific oxygen radicals. Secondly, physiological tests are carried out at the whole plant level. This approach appears to give much information about the action of endogenous as well as overexpressed antioxidant enzymes.
Effective start/end date1/01/9631/12/99


  • fotosynthese
  • physics
  • Photosynthesis
  • Plant Physiology
  • Enzymology
  • Bioenergetica
  • ATPase
  • Biophysics

Flemish discipline codes

  • Physical sciences
  • Biological sciences