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Expression pattern of a type-2 metallothionein gene in a wild population of the psammophyte Silene nicaeensis

, : Expression pattern of a type-2 metallothionein gene in a wild population of the psammophyte Silene nicaeensis. Protoplasma 250(1): 381-389

Silene nicaeensis is a wild Mediterranean grass often restricted to sandy sea shore and exhibiting an excellent tolerance to drought and salinity. Within Silene genus, several heavy metal-tolerant ecotypes have been identified, but information on molecular basis of such metal tolerance is still limited. Conceivably, salt-tolerant plants may represent a powerful tool for the remediation of heavy metal contaminated sites in saline environment. Here, a gene encoding a metallothionein protein was isolated from S. nicaeensis. Sequence analysis identified the motifs characteristic of type II metallothionein and designated as SnMT2. SnMT2 expression was investigated in plants collected from two sites differing in Metal Pollution Index (MPI). SnMT2 expression by polymerase chain reaction-based semi-quantitative transcript analysis showed a high accumulation in the leaves; in situ hybridization showed a steady localization of SnMT2 mRNA in the vascular bundle and in proliferating tissues. Moreover, an increase of SnMT2 was observed in the root of plants collected from area with higher MPI. The putative role of SnMT2 in metal tolerance is discussed.


PMID: 22688806

DOI: 10.1007/s00709-012-0425-3

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