Cadmium resistance in tobacco plants expressing the MuSI gene

Young Nam Kim, Ji Seoung Kim, Sang Gyu Seo, Youngwoo Lee, Seung Woo Baek, Il Sup Kim, Ho Sung Yoon, Kwon Rae Kim, Sun Hyung Kim, Kye Hoon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


MuSI, a gene that corresponds to a domain that contains the rubber elongation factor (REF), is highly homologous to many stress-related proteins in plants. Since MuSI is up-regulated in the roots of plants treated with cadmium or copper, the involvement of MuSI in cadmium tolerance was investigated in this study. Escherichia coli cells overexpressing MuSI were more resistant to Cd than wild-type cells transfected with vector alone. MuSI transgenic plants were also more resistant to Cd. MuSI transgenic tobacco plants absorbed less Cd than wild-type plants. Cd translocation from roots to shoots was reduced in the transgenic plants, thereby avoiding Cd toxicity. The number of short trichomes in the leaves of wild-type tobacco plants was increased by Cd treatment, while this was unchanged in MuSI transgenic tobacco. These results suggest that MuSI transgenic tobacco plants have enhanced tolerance to Cd via reduced Cd uptake and/or increased Cd immobilization in the roots, resulting in less Cd translocation to the shoots.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-329
Number of pages7
JournalPlant Biotechnology Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Cadmium accumulation
  • Cadmium tolerance
  • MuSI
  • Rubber elongation factor (REF)
  • Tobacco
  • Trichomes


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