Multiple PLDs required for high salinity and water deficit tolerance in plants

Bastiaan O.R. Bargmann, Ana M. Laxalt, Bas Ter Riet, Bas Van Schooten, Emmanuelle Merquiol, Christa Testerink, Michel A. Haring, Dorothea Bartels, Teun Munnik*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

139 Citations (Scopus)


High salinity and drought have received much attention because they severely affect crop production worldwide. Analysis and comprehension of the plant's response to excessive salt and dehydration will aid in the development of stress-tolerant crop varieties. Signal transduction lies at the basis of the response to these stresses, and numerous signaling pathways have been implicated. Here, we provide further evidence for the involvement of phospholipase D (PLD) in the plant's response to high salinity and dehydration. A tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) α-class PLD, LePLDα1, is transcriptionally up-regulated and activated in cell suspension cultures treated with salt. Gene silencing revealed that this PLD is indeed involved in the salt-induced phosphatidic acid production, but not exclusively. Genetically modified tomato plants with reduced LePLDα1 protein levels did not reveal altered salt tolerance. In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), both AtPLDα1 and AtPLDδ were found to be activated in response to salt stress. Moreover, pldα1 and pldδ single and double knock-out mutants exhibited enhanced sensitivity to high salinity stress in a plate assay. Furthermore, we show that both PLDs are activated upon dehydration and the knock-out mutants are hypersensitive to hyperosmotic stress, displaying strongly reduced growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-89
Number of pages12
JournalPlant and Cell Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Arabidopsis
  • Drought
  • High salinity
  • Phosphatidic acid
  • Phospholipase D
  • Tomato

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