Xerophyta viscosa Aldose Reductase, XvAld1, Enhances Drought Tolerance in Transgenic Sweetpotato

Mol Biotechnol. 2018 Mar;60(3):203-214. doi: 10.1007/s12033-018-0063-x.


Sweetpotato is a significant crop which is widely cultivated particularly in the developing countries with high and stable yield. However, drought stress is a major limiting factor that antagonistically influences the crop's productivity. Dehydration stress caused by drought causes aggregation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in plants, and aldose reductases are first-line safeguards against ROS caused by oxidative stress. In the present study, we generated transgenic sweetpotato plants expressing aldose reductase, XvAld1 isolated from Xerophyta viscosa under the control of a stress-inducible promoter via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Our results demonstrated that the transgenic sweetpotato lines displayed significant enhanced tolerance to simulated drought stress and enhanced recuperation after rehydration contrasted with wild-type plants. In addition, the transgenic plants exhibited improved photosynthetic efficiency, higher water content and more proline accumulation under dehydration stress conditions compared with wild-type plants. These results demonstrate that exploiting the XvAld1 gene is not only a compelling and attainable way to improve sweetpotato tolerance to drought stresses without causing any phenotypic imperfections but also a promising gene candidate for more extensive crop improvement.

Keywords: Drought stress; Genetic transformation; Ipomoea batatas; Reactive oxygen species; Sweetpotato; Xerophyta viscosa.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological* / drug effects
  • Adaptation, Physiological* / genetics
  • Aldehyde Reductase / metabolism*
  • Chlorophyll / metabolism
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Droughts*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / drug effects
  • Ipomoea batatas / drug effects
  • Ipomoea batatas / genetics*
  • Ipomoea batatas / physiology*
  • Magnoliopsida / drug effects
  • Magnoliopsida / enzymology*
  • Paraquat / pharmacology
  • Phenotype
  • Plant Leaves / drug effects
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Proline / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Soil / chemistry
  • Stress, Physiological / drug effects
  • Water / chemistry


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Soil
  • T-DNA
  • Water
  • Chlorophyll
  • Proline
  • Aldehyde Reductase
  • Paraquat