Transcriptional response of soybean to thiamethoxam seed treatment in the presence and absence of drought stress.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Neonicotinoid insecticides are widely known for their broad-spectrum control of arthropod pests. Recently, their effects on plant physiological mechanisms have been characterized as producing a stress shield, which is predicted to enhance tolerance to adverse conditions. Here we investigate the molecular underpinnings of the stress shield concept using the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam in two separate experiments that compare gene expression. We hypothesized that the application of a thiamethoxam seed treatment to soybean would alter the expression of genes involved in plant defensive pathways and general stress response in later vegetative growth. First, we used next-generation sequencing to examine the broad scale transcriptional effects of the thiamethoxam seed treatment at three vegetative stages in soybean. Second, we selected ten target genes associated with plant defense pathways in soybean and examined the interactive effects of thiamethoxam seed treatment and drought stress on expression using qRT-PCR. RESULTS: Direct comparison of thiamethoxam-treated and untreated soybeans revealed minor transcriptional differences. However, when examined across vegetative stages, the thiamethoxam seed treatment induced substantial transcriptional changes that were not observed in untreated plants. Genes associated with photosynthesis, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, development of the cell wall and membrane organization were uniquely upregulated between vegetative stages in thiamethoxam-treated plants. In addition, several genes associated with phytohormone and oxidative stress responses were downregulated between vegetative stages. When we examined the expression of a subset of ten genes associated with plant defense and stress response, the application of thiamethoxam was found to interact with drought stress by enhancing or repressing expression. In drought stressed plants, thiamethoxam induced (upregulated) expression of a thiamine biosynthetic enzyme (THIZ2) and gibberellin regulated protein (GRP), but repressed (downregulated) the expression of an apetala 2 (GmDREB2A;2), lipoxygenase (LIP), and SAM dependent carboxyl methyltransferase (SAM). CONCLUSIONS: We found evidence that a thiamethoxam seed treatment alters the expression soybean genes related to plant defense and stress response both in the presence and absence of drought stress. Consistent with the thiamethoxam stress shield concept, several genes associated with phytohormones showed enhanced expression in drought stressed plants.
Project description:Sucrose is the main photosynthesis product of plants and the fundamental carbon skeleton monomer and energy supply for seed formation and development. Drought stress induces decreased photosynthetic carbon assimilation capacity, and seriously affects seed weight in soybean. However, little is known about the relationship between decreases in soybean seed yield and disruption of sucrose metabolism and transport balance in leaves and seeds during the reproductive stages of crop growth. Three soybean cultivars with similar growth periods, "Shennong17", "Shennong8", and "Shennong12", were subjected to drought stress during reproductive growth for 45 days. Drought stress significantly reduced leaf photosynthetic rate, shoot biomass, and seed weight by 63.93, 33.53, and 41.65%, respectively. Drought stress increased soluble sugar contents, the activities of sucrose phosphate synthase, sucrose synthase, and acid invertase enzymes, and up-regulated the expression levels of GmSPS1, GmSuSy2, and GmA-INV, but decreased starch content by 15.13% in leaves. Drought stress decreased the contents of starch, fructose, and glucose in seeds during the late seed filling stages, while it induced sucrose accumulation, which resulted in a decreased hexose-to-sucrose ratio. In developing seeds, the activities of sucrose synthesis and degradation enzymes, the expression levels of genes related to metabolism, and the expression levels of sucrose transporter genes were enhanced during early seed development under drought stress; however, under prolonged drought stress, all of them decreased. These results demonstrated that drought stress enhances the capacity for unloading sucrose into seeds and activated sucrose metabolism during early seed development. At the middle and late seed filling stages, sucrose flow from leaves to seeds was diminished, and the balance of sucrose metabolism was impaired in seeds, resulting in seed mass reduction. The different regulation strategies in sucrose allocation, metabolism, and transport during different seed development stages may be one of the physiological mechanisms for soybean plants to resist drought stress.
Project description:The availability of complete genome sequence of soybean has allowed research community to design the 66 K Affymetrix Soybean Array GeneChip for genome-wide expression profiling of soybean. In this study, we carried out microarray analysis of leaf tissues of soybean plants, which were subjected to drought stress from late vegetative V6 and from full bloom reproductive R2 stages. Our data analyses showed that out of 46,093 soybean genes, which were predicted with high confidence among approximately 66,000 putative genes, 41,059 genes could be assigned with a known function. Using the criteria of a ratio change >?=?2 and a q-value<0.05, we identified 1458 and 1818 upregulated and 1582 and 1688 downregulated genes in drought-stressed V6 and R2 leaves, respectively. These datasets were classified into 19 most abundant biological categories with similar proportions. There were only 612 and 463 genes that were overlapped among the upregulated and downregulated genes, respectively, in both stages, suggesting that both conserved and unconserved pathways might be involved in regulation of drought response in different stages of plant development. A comparative expression analysis using our datasets and that of drought stressed Arabidopsis leaves revealed the existence of both conserved and species-specific mechanisms that regulate drought responses. Many upregulated genes encode either regulatory proteins, such as transcription factors, including those with high homology to Arabidopsis DREB, NAC, AREB and ZAT/STZ transcription factors, kinases and two-component system members, or functional proteins, e.g. late embryogenesis-abundant proteins, glycosyltransferases, glycoside hydrolases, defensins and glyoxalase I family proteins. A detailed analysis of the GmNAC family and the hormone-related gene category showed that expression of many GmNAC and hormone-related genes was altered by drought in V6 and/or R2 leaves. Additionally, the downregulation of many photosynthesis-related genes, which contribute to growth retardation under drought stress, may serve as an adaptive mechanism for plant survival. This study has identified excellent drought-responsive candidate genes for in-depth characterization and future development of improved drought-tolerant transgenic soybeans.
Project description:Soybean is a major crop that provides an important source of protein and oil to humans and animals, but its production can be dramatically decreased by the occurrence of drought stress. Soybeans can survive drought stress if there is a robust and deep root system at the early vegetative growth stage. However, little is known about the genome-wide molecular mechanisms contributing to soybean root system architecture. This study was performed to gain knowledge on transcriptome changes and related molecular mechanisms contributing to soybean root development under water limited conditions.The soybean Williams 82 genotype was subjected to very mild stress (VMS), mild stress (MS) and severe stress (SS) conditions, as well as recovery from the severe stress after re-watering (SR). In total, 6,609 genes in the roots showed differential expression patterns in response to different water-deficit stress levels. Genes involved in hormone (Auxin/Ethylene), carbohydrate, and cell wall-related metabolism (XTH/lipid/flavonoids/lignin) pathways were differentially regulated in the soybean root system. Several transcription factors (TFs) regulating root growth and responses under varying water-deficit conditions were identified and the expression patterns of six TFs were found to be common across the stress levels. Further analysis on the whole plant level led to the finding of tissue-specific or water-deficit levels specific regulation of transcription factors. Analysis of the over-represented motif of different gene groups revealed several new cis-elements associated with different levels of water deficit. The expression patterns of 18 genes were confirmed byquantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction method and demonstrated the accuracy and effectiveness of RNA-Seq.The primary root specific transcriptome in soybean can enable a better understanding of the root response to water deficit conditions. The genes detected in root tissues that were associated with key hormones, carbohydrates, and cell wall-related metabolism could play a vital role in achieving drought tolerance and could be promising candidates for future functional characterization. TFs involved in the soybean root and at the whole plant level could be used for future network analysis between TFs and cis-elements. All of these findings will be helpful in elucidating the molecular mechanisms associated with water stress responses in soybean roots.
Project description:Abiotic stresses, such as drought and salt, are major environmental stresses, affecting plant growth and crop productivity. Plant bZIP transcription factors (bZIPs) confer stress resistances in harsh environments and play important roles in each phase of plant growth processes. In this research, 15 soybean bZIP family members were identified from drought-induced de novo transcriptomic sequences of soybean, which were unevenly distributed across 12 soybean chromosomes. Promoter analysis showed that these 15 genes were rich in ABRE, MYB and MYC cis-acting elements which were reported to be involved in abiotic stress responses. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis indicated that 15 GmbZIP genes could be induced by drought and salt stress. GmbZIP2 was significantly upregulated under stress conditions and thus was selected for further study. Subcellular localization analysis revealed that the GmbZIP2 protein was located in the cell nucleus. qRT-PCR results show that GmbZIP2 can be induced by multiple stresses. The overexpression of GmbZIP2 in Arabidopsis and soybean hairy roots could improve plant resistance to drought and salt stresses. The result of differential expression gene analysis shows that the overexpression of GmbZIP2 in soybean hairy roots could enhance the expression of the stress responsive genes GmMYB48, GmWD40, GmDHN15, GmGST1 and GmLEA. These results indicate that soybean bZIPs played pivotal roles in plant resistance to abiotic stresses.
Project description:Rhythms produced by the endogenous circadian clock play a critical role in allowing plants to respond and adapt to the environment. While there is a well-established regulatory link between the circadian clock and responses to abiotic stress in model plants, little is known of the circadian system in crop species like soybean. This study examines how drought impacts diurnal oscillation of both drought responsive and circadian clock genes in soybean. Drought stress induced marked changes in gene expression of several circadian clock-like components, such as LCL1-, GmELF4- and PRR-like genes, which had reduced expression in stressed plants. The same conditions produced a phase advance of expression for the GmTOC1-like, GmLUX-like and GmPRR7-like genes. Similarly, the rhythmic expression pattern of the soybean drought-responsive genes DREB-, bZIP-, GOLS-, RAB18- and Remorin-like changed significantly after plant exposure to drought. In silico analysis of promoter regions of these genes revealed the presence of cis-elements associated both with stress and circadian clock regulation. Furthermore, some soybean genes with upstream ABRE elements were responsive to abscisic acid treatment. Our results indicate that some connection between the drought response and the circadian clock may exist in soybean since (i) drought stress affects gene expression of circadian clock components and (ii) several stress responsive genes display diurnal oscillation in soybeans.
Project description:Neonicotinoids are widely used systemic insecticides that have been associated with spider mite outbreaks on diverse plants. These insecticides have complex effects on plant physiology, which have been speculated to drive enhanced performance of spider mites. We used RNA-Seq to explore how neonicotinoids modify gene expression in soybean thereby lowering plant resistance. We exposed soybean (Glycine max L.) to two neonicotinoid insecticides, thiamethoxam applied to seeds and imidacloprid applied as a soil drench, and we exposed a subset of these plants to spider mites (Tetranychus cinnabarinus). Applications of both insecticides downregulated genes involved in plant-pathogen interactions, phytohormone pathways, phenylpropanoid pathway, and cell wall biosynthesis. These effects were especially pronounced in plants exposed to thiamethoxam. Introduction of spider mites restored induction of genes in these pathways in plants treated with imidacloprid, while expression of genes involved in phenylpropanoid synthesis, in particular, remained downregulated in thiamethoxam-treated plants. Our outcomes indicate that both insecticides suppress genes in pathways relevant to plant⁻arthropod interactions, and suppression of genes involved in cell wall synthesis may explain lower plant resistance to spider mites, cell-content feeders. These effects appear to be particularly significant when plants are exposed to neonicotinoids applied to soybean seeds.
Project description:Oxidation and reduction of methionine (Met) play important roles in scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS) and signaling in living organisms. To understand the impacts of Met oxidation and reduction in plants during stress, we surveyed the genomes of Arabidopsis and soybean (Glycine max L.) for genes encoding Met-rich proteins (MRPs). We found 121 and 213 genes encoding MRPs in Arabidopsis and soybean, respectively. Gene annotation indicated that those with known function are involved in vital cellular processes such as transcriptional control, calcium signaling, protein modification, and metal transport. Next, we analyzed the transcript levels of MRP-coding genes under normal and stress conditions. We found that 57 AtMRPs were responsive either to drought or to high salinity stress in Arabidopsis; 35 GmMRPs were responsive to drought in the leaf of late vegetative or early reproductive stages of soybean. Among the MRP genes with a known function, the majority of the abiotic stress-responsive genes are involved in transcription control and calcium signaling. Finally, Arabidopsis plant which overexpressed an MRP-coding gene, whose transcripts were downregulated by abiotic stress, was more sensitive to paraquat than the control. Taken together, our report indicates that MRPs participate in various vital processes of plants under normal and stress conditions.
Project description:Melatonin is a well-known agent that plays multiple roles in animals. Its possible function in plants is less clear. In the present study, we tested the effect of melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) on soybean growth and development. Coating seeds with melatonin significantly promoted soybean growth as judged from leaf size and plant height. This enhancement was also observed in soybean production and their fatty acid content. Melatonin increased pod number and seed number, but not 100-seed weight. Melatonin also improved soybean tolerance to salt and drought stresses. Transcriptome analysis revealed that salt stress inhibited expressions of genes related to binding, oxidoreductase activity/process, and secondary metabolic processes. Melatonin up-regulated expressions of the genes inhibited by salt stress, and hence alleviated the inhibitory effects of salt stress on gene expressions. Further detailed analysis of the affected pathways documents that melatonin probably achieved its promotional roles in soybean through enhancement of genes involved in cell division, photosynthesis, carbohydrate metabolism, fatty acid biosynthesis, and ascorbate metabolism. Our results demonstrate that melatonin has significant potential for improvement of soybean growth and seed production. Further study should uncover more about the molecular mechanisms of melatonin's function in soybeans and other crops.
Project description:Understanding how intensification of abiotic stress due to global climate change affects crop yields is important for continued agricultural productivity. Coupling genomic technologies with physiological crop responses in a dynamic field environment is an effective approach to dissect the mechanisms underpinning crop responses to abiotic stress. Soybean (Glycine max L. Merr. cv. Pioneer 93B15) was grown in natural production environments with projected changes to environmental conditions predicted for the end of the century, including decreased precipitation, increased tropospheric ozone concentrations ([O3]), or increased temperature.All three environmental stresses significantly decreased leaf-level photosynthesis and stomatal conductance, leading to significant losses in seed yield. This was driven by a significant decrease in the number of pods per node for all abiotic stress treatments. To understand the underlying transcriptomic response involved in the yield response to environmental stress, RNA-Sequencing analysis was performed on the soybean seed coat, a tissue that plays an essential role in regulating carbon and nitrogen transport to developing seeds. Gene expression analysis revealed 49, 148 and 1,576 differentially expressed genes in the soybean seed coat in response to drought, elevated [O3] and elevated temperature, respectively.Elevated [O3] and drought did not elicit substantive transcriptional changes in the soybean seed coat. However, this may be due to the timing of sampling and does not preclude impacts of those stresses on different tissues or different stages in seed coat development. Expression of genes involved in DNA replication and metabolic processes were enriched in the seed coat under high temperate stress, suggesting that the timing of events that are important for cell division and proper seed development were altered in a stressful growth environment.
Project description:Metabolomics analysis of wild type Arabidopsis thaliana plants, under control and drought stress conditions revealed several metabolic pathways that are induced under water deficit. The metabolic response to drought stress is also associated with ABA dependent and independent pathways, allowing a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms in this model plant. Through combining an in silico approach and gene expression analysis by quantitative real-time PCR, the present work aims at identifying genes of soybean metabolic pathways potentially associated with water deficit. Digital expression patterns of Arabidopsis genes, which were selected based on the basis of literature reports, were evaluated under drought stress condition by Genevestigator. Genes that showed strong induction under drought stress were selected and used as bait to identify orthologs in the soybean genome. This allowed us to select 354 genes of putative soybean orthologs of 79 Arabidopsis genes belonging to 38 distinct metabolic pathways. The expression pattern of the selected genes was verified in the subtractive libraries available in the GENOSOJA project. Subsequently, 13 genes from different metabolic pathways were selected for validation by qPCR experiments. The expression of six genes was validated in plants undergoing drought stress in both pot-based and hydroponic cultivation systems. The results suggest that the metabolic response to drought stress is conserved in Arabidopsis and soybean plants.