Published by Land Degradation and Development on Dec 2018.

To feed the ever increasing world population, more crops production per hectare has become a necessity. Soil salinity is one of the important factors causing land degradation leading to low soil aeration and water conductance. It adversely impacts plant growth and development. Adaption through modern molecular tools is an important strategy for alternative use for degraded land. To achieve this aim, we have cloned a novel salt responsive gene SbRPC5L (Salicornia brachiata RNA Poly III Complex 5 Like subunit) from an extreme halophyte and transformed it into tobacco for abiotic stress tolerance. The gene is intronless, 1202 bp long, membrane‐localized, encoding a protein of 196 amino acids and shows up‐regulation under salt and osmotic stress. Tobacco plants harboring SbRPC5L perform better under stress and have more water content, membrane stability and stress tolerance indices as compared to control plants. The results suggest that this novel gene has a potential to be used as a promising alternative to impart abiotic stress tolerance for climate resilient agriculture in degraded costal saline areas.