Development and Identification of Soybean Plants with an Increased Tolerance to Osmotic Stress

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Norton, Emily A.
Rhodes, Amanda
Soybeans , Agrobacterium-Mediated Transformation , Cox Gene
Choline oxidase A is an enzyme in the two-step oxidation reaction of choline to glycine betaine, an osmoregulator. As a cell is subjected to osmotic stress such as an increase in salinity, glycine betaine accumulates in the cell’s cytoplasm to modulate the salt concentration. This maintains the cell’s water homeostasis, preventing the cell from bursting. Soybeans, in particular, are sensitive to soil salinity and low producers of glycine betaine. Since soybeans are of great economic importance to the U.S. economy, efforts to increase glycine betaine synthesis in soybeans with the aim of increasing their salt tolerance would be beneficial. In our experiment we are attempting to insert the gene for choline oxidase A (cox) into soybeans via the agrobacterium-mediated transformation method in an effort to increase glycine betaine synthesis.