Vacuolar solute accumulation has been shown to be a mechanism by which plants are capable of increasing drought and salt tolerance. The exposure of plants to NaCl induces H+ transport into the vacuole by specialized pumps. One of them corresponds to the vacuolar H+-pyrophosphatase, which generates a H+ gradient across the vacuolar membrane. In our laboratory we isolated the first cDNA sequence of a vacuolar pyrophosphatase type I (EVP1) from Eucalyptus globulus. Using real-time PCR we confirmed that EVP1 participates in Eucalyptus plants' response to drought and salt stress through an ABA independent pathway. Additionally, the overexpression of EVP1 in transgenic Arabidopsis resulted in an enhancement of drought and salt tolerance. Interestingly we established that the transgenic plants had a higher number of root hairs, which may have a positive effect on the plant's response to drought and salt stress. These results suggest that EVP1 plays an active role in abiotic stress tolerance in E.globulus, and that it may be potentially used to enhance drought and stress tolerance of plants.
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