Characterization of gene expression associated with drought avoidance and tolerance traits in a perennial grass species.
ABSTRACT: To understand molecular mechanisms of perennial grass adaptation to drought stress, genes associated with drought avoidance or tolerance traits were identified and their expression patterns were characterized in C4 hybrid bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.×C. transvaalensis Burtt Davy, cv. Tifway] and common bermudagrass (C. dactylon, cv. C299). Plants of drought-tolerant 'Tifway' and drought-sensitive 'C299' were exposed to drought for 5 d (mild stress) and 10 d (severe stress) by withholding irrigation in a growth chamber. 'Tifway' maintained significantly lower electrolyte leakage and higher relative water content than 'C299' at both 5 and 10 d of drought stress. Four cDNA libraries via suppression subtractive hybridization analysis were constructed and identified 277 drought-responsive genes in the two genotypes at 5 and 10 d of drought stress, which were mainly classified into the functional categories of stress defense, metabolism, osmoregulation, membrane system, signal and regulator, structural protein, protein synthesis and degradation, and energy metabolism. Quantitative-PCR analysis confirmed the expression of 36 drought up-regulated genes that were more highly expressed in drought-tolerant 'Tifway' than drought-sensitive 'C299', including those for drought avoidance traits, such as cuticle wax formation (CER1 and sterol desaturase), for drought tolerance traits, such as dehydration-protective proteins (dehydrins, HVA-22-like protein) and oxidative stress defense (superoxide dismutase, dehydroascorbate reductase, 2-Cys peroxiredoxins), and for stress signaling (EREBP-4 like protein and WRKY transcription factor). The results suggest that the expression of genes for stress signaling, cuticle wax accumulation, antioxidant defense, and dehydration-protective protein accumulation could be critically important for warm-season perennial grass adaptation to long-term drought stress.
Project description:In this study, we investigated the mechanisms by which bermudagrass withstands the drought and submergence stresses through physiological, proteomic and metabolomic approaches. The results showed that significant physiological changes were observed after drought treatment, while only slight changes after submergence treatment, including compatible solute contents, ROS levels and antioxidant enzyme activities. Proteomics results showed that 81 proteins regulated by drought or submergence treatment were identified by MALDI-TOF-MS. Among them, 76 proteins were modulated by drought stress with 46 increased abundance and 30 decreased abundance. Forty-five showed abundance changes after submergence treatment with 10 increased and 35 decreased. Pathway enrichment analysis revealed that pathways of amino acid metabolism and mitochondrial electron transport/ATP synthesis were only enriched by drought treatment, while other pathways including photosynthesis, biodegradation of xenobiotics, oxidative pentose phosphate, glycolysis and redox were commonly over-represented after both drought and submergence treatments. Metabolomic analysis indicated that most of the metabolites were up-regulated by drought stress, while 34 of 40 metabolites contents exhibited down-regulation or no significant changes when exposed to submergence stress, including sugars and sugar alcohols. These data indicated that drought stress extensively promoted photosynthesis and redox metabolisms while submergence stress caused declined metabolisms and dormancy in Cynodon dactylon. Taken together, the quiescence strategy with retarded growth might allow bermudagrass to be adaptive to long-term submerged environment, while activation of photosynthesis and redox, and accumulation of compatible solutes and molecular chaperones increased bermudagrass tolerance to drought stress.
Project description:Bermudagrass (<i>Cynodon dactylon</i>) is one of tolerant grass species to drought and salt. The comparative analyses of bermudagrass in response to drought and salt stresses at the physiological, proteomic, and metabolomic levels were performed in this study. The physiological results indicated that osmolytes accumulation, ROS level and antioxidant enzyme activities were extensively changed by drought and salt stresses. Through comparative proteomic analyses, we successfully identified a total of 77 proteins involved in photosynthesis, oxidative pentose phosphate, glycolysis, and redox metabolic pathways when exposed to drought and salt stresses. Among them, 36 proteins were commonly regulated by both treatments, while other 40 and 13 proteins were specifically regulated by drought and salt, respectively. Totally 15 proteins were involved in carbon metabolic pathway. Moreover, contents of 37 metabolites including amino acids, organic acids, sugars, and sugar alcohols were regulated by drought and salt treatments. Among them, 18 commonly modulated metabolites were involved in carbon and amino acid metabolic pathways. Drought treatment for 21 days caused less accumulation of sugars and sugar alcohols and increased ROS level in bermudagrass which led to relatively more severe cell membrane reflected by high EL-value and lower survival rate when compared to 400 mM salt treatment for 21 days. These results suggested that drought and 400 mM NaCl stresses for 21 days treatment affected common and specific changes in bermudagrass, which would provide new insights to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms and metabolic homeostasis of bermudagrass in responses to abiotic stresses.
Project description:Soil salinity is one of the most significant abiotic stresses affecting plant shoots and roots growth. The adjustment of root architecture to spatio-temporal heterogeneity in salinity is particularly critical for plant growth and survival. Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) is a widely used turf and forage perennial grass with a high degree of salinity tolerance. Salinity appears to stimulate the growth of roots and decrease their mortality in tolerant bermudagrass. To estimate a broad spectrum of genes related to root elongation affected by salt stress and the molecular mechanisms that control the positive response of root architecture to salinity, we analyzed the transcriptome of bermudagrass root tips in response to salinity.RNA-sequencing was performed in root tips of two bermudagrass genotypes contrasting in salt tolerance. A total of 237,850,130 high quality clean reads were generated and 250,359 transcripts were assembled with an average length of 1115 bp. Totally, 103,324 unigenes obtained with 53,765 unigenes (52 %) successfully annotated in databases. Bioinformatics analysis indicated that major transcription factor (TF) families linked to stress responses and growth regulation (MYB, bHLH, WRKY) were differentially expressed in root tips of bermudagrass under salinity. In addition, genes related to cell wall loosening and stiffening (xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolases, peroxidases) were identified.RNA-seq analysis identified candidate genes encoding TFs involved in the regulation of lignin synthesis, reactive oxygen species (ROS) homeostasis controlled by peroxidases, and the regulation of phytohormone signaling that promote cell wall loosening and therefore root growth under salinity.
Project description:Cuticle is the major transpiration barrier that restricts non-stomatal water loss and is closely associated with plant drought tolerance. Although multiple efforts have been made, it remains controversial what factors shape up the cuticular transpiration barrier. Previously, we found that the cuticle from the tender tea leaf was mainly constituted by very-long-chain-fatty-acids and their derivatives while alicyclic compounds dominate the mature tea leaf cuticle. The presence of two contrasting cuticle within same branch offered a unique system to investigate this question. In this study, tea seedlings were subjected to water deprivation treatment, cuticle structures and wax compositions from the tender leaf and the mature leaf were extensively measured and compared. We found that cuticle wax coverage, thickness, and osmiophilicity were commonly increased from both leaves. New waxes species were specifically induced by drought; the composition of existing waxes was remodeled; the chain length distributions of alkanes, esters, glycols, and terpenoids were altered in complex manners. Drought treatment significantly reduced leaf water loss rates. Wax biosynthesis-related gene expression analysis revealed dynamic expression patterns dependent on leaf maturity and the severity of drought. These data suggested that drought stress-induced structural and compositional cuticular modifications improve cuticle water barrier property. In addition, we demonstrated that cuticle from the tender leaf and the mature leaf were modified through both common and distinct modes.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The cuticle is a hydrophobic barrier located at the aerial surface of all terrestrial plants. Recent studies performed on model plants, such as Arabidopsis thaliana, have suggested that the cuticle may be involved in drought stress adaptation, preventing non-stomatal water loss. Although forest trees will face more intense drought stresses (in duration and intensity) with global warming, very few studies on the role of the cuticle in drought stress adaptation in these long-lived organisms have been so far reported. RESULTS: This aspect was investigated in a conifer, maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Ait.), in a factorial design with two genetic units (two half-sib families with different growth rates) and two treatments (irrigated vs non-irrigated), in field conditions. Saplings were grown in an open-sided greenhouse and half were irrigated three times per week for two growing seasons. Needles were sampled three times per year for cuticular wax (composition and content) and transcriptome (of 11 genes involved in cuticle biosynthesis) analysis. Non-irrigated saplings (i) had a higher cuticular wax content than irrigated saplings and (ii) overexpressed most of the genes studied. Both these trends were more marked in the faster growing family. CONCLUSIONS: The higher cuticular wax content observed in the non-irrigated treatment associated with strong modifications in products from the decarbonylation pathway suggest that cuticular wax may be involved in drought stress adaptation in maritime pine. This study provides also a set of promising candidate genes for future forward genetic studies in conifers.
Project description:The perennial and stoloniferous weed, Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. (bermudagrass), is a serious problem in vineyards. The spectral similarity between bermudagrass and grapevines makes discrimination of the two species, based solely on spectral information from multi-band imaging sensor, unfeasible. However, that challenge can be overcome by use of object-based image analysis (OBIA) and ultra-high spatial resolution Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) images. This research aimed to automatically, accurately, and rapidly map bermudagrass and design maps for its management. Aerial images of two vineyards were captured using two multispectral cameras (RGB and RGNIR) attached to a UAV. First, spectral analysis was performed to select the optimum vegetation index (VI) for bermudagrass discrimination from bare soil. Then, the VI-based OBIA algorithm developed for each camera automatically mapped the grapevines, bermudagrass, and bare soil (accuracies greater than 97.7%). Finally, site-specific management maps were generated. Combining UAV imagery and a robust OBIA algorithm allowed the automatic mapping of bermudagrass. Analysis of the classified area made it possible to quantify grapevine growth and revealed expansion of bermudagrass infested areas. The generated bermudagrass maps could help farmers improve weed control through a well-programmed strategy. Therefore, the developed OBIA algorithm offers valuable geo-spatial information for designing site-specific bermudagrass management strategies leading farmers to potentially reduce herbicide use as well as optimize fuel, field operating time, and costs.
Project description:Excess salinity is a major environmental stress that limits growth and development of plants. Improving salt stress tolerance of plants is important in order to enhance land utilization and crop yield. Cold priming has been reported to trigger the protective processes in plants that increase their stress tolerance. Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) is one of the most widely used turfgrass species around the world. However, the effect of cold priming on salt tolerance of bermudagrass is largely unknown. In the present study, wild bermudagrass was pre-treated with 4 °C for 6 h before 150 mM NaCl treatment for one week. The results showed that the cell membrane stability, ion homeostasis and photosynthesis process which are usually negatively affected by salt stress in bermudagrass were alleviated by short-term pre-cold treatment. Additionally, the gene expression profile also corresponded to the change of physiological indexes in bermudagrass. The results suggest that cold priming plays a positive role in improving salt stress tolerance of bermudagrass.
Project description:The plant cuticle is the outermost layer covering aerial tissues and is composed of cutin and waxes. The cuticle plays an important role in protection from environmental stresses and glaucousness, the bluish-white colouration of plant surfaces associated with cuticular waxes, has been suggested as a contributing factor in crop drought tolerance. However, the cuticle structure and composition is complex and it is not clear which aspects are important in determining a role in drought tolerance. Therefore, we analysed residual transpiration rates, cuticle structure and epicuticular wax composition under well-watered conditions and drought in five Australian bread wheat genotypes, Kukri, Excalibur, Drysdale, RAC875 and Gladius, with contrasting glaucousness and drought tolerance.Significant differences were detected in residual transpiration rates between non-glaucous and drought-sensitive Kukri and four glaucous and drought-tolerant lines. No simple correlation was found between residual transpiration rates and the level of glaucousness among glaucous lines. Modest differences in the thickness of cuticle existed between the examined genotypes, while drought significantly increased thickness in Drysdale and RAC875. Wax composition analyses showed various amounts of C31 ?-diketone among genotypes and increases in the content of alkanes under drought in all examined wheat lines.The results provide new insights into the relationship between drought stress and the properties and structure of the wheat leaf cuticle. In particular, the data highlight the importance of the cuticle's biochemical makeup, rather than a simple correlation with glaucousness or stomatal density, for water loss under limited water conditions.
Project description:Drought is a major environmental stress limiting growth of perennial grasses in temperate regions. Plant drought tolerance is a complex trait that is controlled by multiple genes. Candidate gene association mapping provides a powerful tool for dissection of complex traits. Candidate gene association mapping of drought tolerance traits was conducted in 192 diverse perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) accessions from 43 countries. The panel showed significant variations in leaf wilting, leaf water content, canopy and air temperature difference, and chlorophyll fluorescence under well-watered and drought conditions across six environments. Analysis of 109 simple sequence repeat markers revealed five population structures in the mapping panel. A total of 2520 expression-based sequence readings were obtained for a set of candidate genes involved in antioxidant metabolism, dehydration, water movement across membranes, and signal transduction, from which 346 single nucleotide polymorphisms were identified. Significant associations were identified between a putative LpLEA3 encoding late embryogenesis abundant group 3 protein and a putative LpFeSOD encoding iron superoxide dismutase and leaf water content, as well as between a putative LpCyt Cu-ZnSOD encoding cytosolic copper-zinc superoxide dismutase and chlorophyll fluorescence under drought conditions. Four of these identified significantly associated single nucleotide polymorphisms from these three genes were also translated to amino acid substitutions in different genotypes. These results indicate that allelic variation in these genes may affect whole-plant response to drought stress in perennial ryegrass.
Project description:Global climate changes involve elevated temperature and CO2 concentration, imposing significant impact on plant growth of various plant species. Elevated temperature exacerbates heat damages, but elevated CO2 has positive effects on promoting plant growth and heat tolerance. The objective of this study was to identify metabolic pathways affected by elevated CO2 conferring the improvement of heat tolerance in a C4 perennial grass species, bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon Pers.). Plants were planted under either ambient CO2 concentration (400 ?mol?mol-1) or elevated CO2 concentration (800 ?mol?mol-1) and subjected to ambient temperature (30/25°C, day/night) or heat stress (45/40°C, day/night). Elevated CO2 concentration suppressed heat-induced damages and improved heat tolerance in bermudagrass. The enhanced heat tolerance under elevated CO2 was attributed to some important metabolic pathways during which proteins and metabolites were up-regulated, including light reaction (ATP synthase subunit and photosystem I reaction center subunit) and carbon fixation [(glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, GAPDH), fructose-bisphosphate aldolase, phosphoglycerate kinase, sedoheptulose-1,7-bisphosphatase and sugars) of photosynthesis, glycolysis (GAPDH, glucose, fructose, and galactose) and TCA cycle (pyruvic acid, malic acid and malate dehydrogenase) of respiration, amino acid metabolism (aspartic acid, methionine, threonine, isoleucine, lysine, valine, alanine, and isoleucine) as well as the GABA shunt (GABA, glutamic acid, alanine, proline and 5-oxoproline). The up-regulation of those metabolic processes by elevated CO2 could at least partially contribute to the improvement of heat tolerance in perennial grass species.