Expression of SOD transgene in pepper confer stress tolerance and improve shoot regeneration
Financial support: Grant from Greek Secretary for Research and Technology to A.S.T.
Keywords: Capsicum annum L., drought stress, MV, regeneration, SOD.
The objective of this work was to study the stress tolerance and regeneration capability of transgenic pepper plants carrying a sod gene, encoding a tomato chloroplast-localized Cu/Zn SOD protein. The expression of the sod gene was confirmed by enzymatic staining following polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE), revealing a ‘novel’ band, which could represent a heterodimeric enzyme. Transgenic T1 and T2 progeny plants were exposed to different oxidative stresses including Methyl viologen (MV) and drought and found to have an increased resistance to oxidative damage. Furthermore, the SOD carrying transgenic pepper plants showed increased levels of regeneration efficiency compared to the wild type pepper plants. Pepper is a recalcitrant species in terms of its in vitro regeneration ability but it could be extremely useful for the development of pharmaceuticals. This approach enables the extent use of pepper for genetic transformation and the production of high valuable products in plants particularly the large fruit varieties.