Project description:Droughts cause severe crop losses worldwide and climate change is projected to increase their prevalence in the future. Similar to the situation for many crops, the reference plant Arabidopsis thaliana (Ath) is considered drought-sensitive, whereas, as we demonstrate, its close relatives Arabidopsis lyrata (Aly) and Eutrema salsugineum (Esa) are drought-resistant. To understand the molecular basis for this plasticity we conducted a deep phenotypic, biochemical and transcriptomic comparison using developmentally matched plants. We demonstrate that Aly responds most sensitively to decreasing water availability with early growth reduction, metabolic adaptations and signaling network rewiring. By contrast, Esa is in a constantly prepared mode as evidenced by high basal proline levels, ABA signaling transcripts and late growth responses. The stress-sensitive Ath responds later than Aly and earlier than Esa, although its responses tend to be more extreme. All species detect water scarcity with similar sensitivity; response differences are encoded in downstream signaling and response networks. Moreover, several signaling genes expressed at higher basal levels in both Aly and Esa have been shown to increase water-use efficiency and drought resistance when overexpressed in Ath. Our data demonstrate contrasting strategies of closely related Brassicaceae to achieve drought resistance.
Project description:Oat (<i>Avena sativa</i> L.) is an important crop in northwestern China. Drought stress is the most significant factor affecting oat yield. In the present study, we explored the changes that occur in oats under drought stress conditions at a global genomic level. RNA sequencing was performed using 15-day-old oat seedlings. The differentially expressed transcripts were identified, and their related functions and pathways were investigated. In total, 1,065 unigenes were differentially expressed in oats under drought stress conditions. Of these, 386 unigenes were upregulated and 679 were downregulated. The perturbed transcripts were closely related to the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, plant hormone signal transduction, and biosynthesis of antibiotics. DN50483_c0_g1_i3, which was annotated as acetyl-CoA carboxylase, was a significant node in the protein-protein interaction network. Biosynthesis of antibiotics and secondary metabolites may be involved in the drought stress response mechanisms of oats. The perturbed transcripts may provide targets for improving plant stress responses.
Project description:Drought is the major cause of crop losses worldwide. Water stress-inducible promoters are important for understanding the mechanisms of water stress responses in crop plants. Here we utilized tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) Bright Yellow 2 (BY-2) cell system in presence of polyethylene glycol, salt and phytohormones. Extension of the system to 85 mM NaCl led to inducibility of up to 10-fold with the water stress and salt responsive soybean GmWRKY53 promoter. Upon ABA and JA treatment fold inducibility was up to 5-fold and 14-fold, respectively. Thus, we hypothesize that GmWRKY53 could be used as potential model candidate for dissecting drought regulatory elements as well as understanding crosstalk utilizing a rapid heterologous system of BY-2 culture.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Drought is a serious causal factor of reduced crop yields than any other abiotic stresses. As one of the most widely distributed crops, maize plants frequently suffer from drought stress, which causes great losses in the final kernel yield. Drought stress response in plants showed tissue- and developmental stage-specific characteristics. RESULTS:In this study, the ears at the V9 stage, kernels and ear leaf at the 5DAP (days after pollination) stage of maize were used for morphological, physiological and comparative transcriptomics analysis to understand the different features of "sink" or "source" organs and the effects on kernel yield under drought stress conditions. The ABA-, NAC-mediate signaling pathway, osmotic protective substance synthesis and protein folding response were identified as common drought stress response in the three organs. Tissue-specific drought stress responses and the regulators were identified, they were highly correlated with growth, physiological adaptation and yield loss under drought stress. For ears, drought stress inhibited ear elongation, led to the abnormal differentiation of the paired spikelet, and auxin signaling involved in the regulation of cell division and growth and primordium development changes. In the kernels, reduced kernel size caused by drought stress was observed, and the obvious differences of auxin, BR and cytokine signaling transduction appeared, which indicated the modification in carbohydrate metabolism, cell differentiation and growth retardation. For the ear leaf, dramatically and synergistically reduced the expression of photosynthesis genes were observed when suffered from drought stress, the ABA- and NAC- mediate signaling pathway played important roles in the regulation of photosynthesis. CONCLUSIONS:Transcriptomic changes caused by drought were highly correlated with developmental and physiological adaptation, which was closely related to the final yield of maize, and a sketch of tissue- and developmental stage-specific responses to drought stress in maize was drafted.
Project description:Non-irrigated crops in temperate climates and irrigated crops in arid climates are subjected to continuous cycles of water stress and re-watering. Thus, fast and efficient recovery from water stress may be among the key determinants of plant drought adaptation. The present study was designed to comparatively analyze the roles of drought resistance and drought recovery in drought adaptation and to investigate the physiological basis of genotypic variation in drought adaptation in maize (Zea mays) seedlings. As the seedlings behavior in growth associate with yield under drought, it could partly reflect the potential of drought adaptability. Growth and physiological responses to progressive drought stress and recovery were observed in seedlings of 10 maize lines. The results showed that drought adaptability is closely related to drought recovery (r = 0.714(**)), but not to drought resistance (r = 0.332). Drought induced decreases in leaf water content, water potential, osmotic potential, gas exchange parameters, chlorophyll content, Fv/Fm and nitrogen content, and increased H2O2 accumulation and lipid peroxidation. After recovery, most of these physiological parameters rapidly returned to normal levels. The physiological responses varied between lines. Further correlation analysis indicated that the physiological bases of drought resistance and drought recovery are definitely different, and that maintaining higher chlorophyll content (r = 0.874(***)) and Fv/Fm (r = 0.626(*)) under drought stress contributes to drought recovery. Our results suggest that both drought resistance and recovery are key determinants of plant drought adaptation, and that drought recovery may play a more important role than previously thought. In addition, leaf water potential, chlorophyll content and Fv/Fm could be used as efficient reference indicators in the selection of drought-adaptive genotypes.
Project description:Crop response to the changing climate and unpredictable effects of global warming with adverse conditions such as drought stress has brought concerns about food security to the fore; crop yield loss is a major cause of concern in this regard. Identification of genes with multiple responses across environmental stresses is the genetic foundation that leads to crop adaptation to environmental perturbations.In this paper, we introduce an integrated approach to assess candidate genes for multiple stress responses across-species. The approach combines ontology based semantic data integration with expression profiling, comparative genomics, phylogenomics, functional gene enrichment and gene enrichment network analysis to identify genes associated with plant stress phenotypes. Five different ontologies, viz., Gene Ontology (GO), Trait Ontology (TO), Plant Ontology (PO), Growth Ontology (GRO) and Environment Ontology (EO) were used to semantically integrate drought related information.Target genes linked to Quantitative Trait Loci (QTLs) controlling yield and stress tolerance in sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) and closely related species were identified. Based on the enriched GO terms of the biological processes, 1116 sorghum genes with potential responses to 5 different stresses, such as drought (18%), salt (32%), cold (20%), heat (8%) and oxidative stress (25%) were identified to be over-expressed. Out of 169 sorghum drought responsive QTLs associated genes that were identified based on expression datasets, 56% were shown to have multiple stress responses. On the other hand, out of 168 additional genes that have been evaluated for orthologous pairs, 90% were conserved across species for drought tolerance. Over 50% of identified maize and rice genes were responsive to drought and salt stresses and were co-located within multifunctional QTLs. Among the total identified multi-stress responsive genes, 272 targets were shown to be co-localized within QTLs associated with different traits that are responsive to multiple stresses. Ontology mapping was used to validate the identified genes, while reconstruction of the phylogenetic tree was instrumental to infer the evolutionary relationship of the sorghum orthologs. The results also show specific genes responsible for various interrelated components of drought response mechanism such as drought tolerance, drought avoidance and drought escape.We submit that this approach is novel and to our knowledge, has not been used previously in any other research; it enables us to perform cross-species queries for genes that are likely to be associated with multiple stress tolerance, as a means to identify novel targets for engineering stress resistance in sorghum and possibly, in other crop species.
Project description:As sessile organisms, plants must be able to complete their life cycle in place and therefore tolerance to abiotic stress has had a major role in shaping biogeographical patterns. However, much of what we know about plant tolerance to abiotic stresses is based on studies of just a few plant species, most notably the model species Arabidopsis thaliana. In this study we examine natural variation in the stress responses of five diverse Boechera (Brassicaceae) species. Boechera plants were exposed to basal and acquired combined heat and high light stress. Plant response to these stresses was evaluated based on chlorophyll fluorescence measurements, induction of leaf chlorosis, and gene expression. Many of the Boechera species were more tolerant to heat and high light stress than A. thaliana. Gene expression data indicates that two important marker genes for stress responses: APX2 (Ascorbate peroxidase 2) and HsfA2 (Heat shock transcription factor A2) have distinct species-specific expression patterns. The findings of species-specific responses and tolerance to stress indicate that stress pathways are evolutionarily labile even among closely related species.
Project description:Proline metabolism influences the metabolic and/or signaling pathway in regulating plant stress responses. This study aimed to characterize the physiological significance of glutamate (Glu)-mediated proline metabolism in the drought stress responses, focusing on the hormonal regulatory pathway. The responses of cytosolic Ca<sup>2+</sup> signaling, proline metabolism, and redox components to the exogenous application of Glu in well-watered or drought-stressed plants were interpreted in relation to endogenous hormone status and their signaling genes. Drought-enhanced level of abscisic acid (ABA) was concomitant with the accumulation of ROS and proline, as well as loss of reducing potential, which was assessed by measuring NAD(P)H/NAD(P)<sup>+</sup> and GSH/GSSG ratios. Glu application to drought-stressed plants increased both salicylic acid (SA) and cytosolic Ca<sup>2+</sup> levels, with the highest expression of calcium-dependent protein kinase (<i>CPK5</i>) and salicylic acid synthesis-related <i>ICS1</i>. The SA-enhanced <i>CPK5</i> expression was closely associated with further enhancement of proline synthesis-related genes (<i>P5CS1, P5CS2,</i> and <i>P5CR</i>) expression and a reset of reducing potential with enhanced expression of redox regulating genes (<i>TRXh5</i> and <i>GRXC9</i>) in a SA-mediated <i>NPR1-</i> and/or <i>PR1-</i>dependent manner. These results clearly indicate that Glu-activated interplay between SA- and CPK5-signaling as well as Glu-enhanced proline synthesis are crucial in the amelioration of drought stress in <i>Brassica napus</i>.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Drought threatens the food supply of the world population. Dissecting the dynamic responses of plants to drought will be beneficial for breeding drought-tolerant crops, as the genetic controls of these responses remain largely unknown.<h4>Results</h4>Here we develop a high-throughput multiple optical phenotyping system to noninvasively phenotype 368 maize genotypes with or without drought stress over a course of 98 days, and collected multiple optical images, including color camera scanning, hyperspectral imaging, and X-ray computed tomography images. We develop high-throughput analysis pipelines to extract image-based traits (i-traits). Of these i-traits, 10,080 were effective and heritable indicators of maize external and internal drought responses. An i-trait-based genome-wide association study reveals 4322 significant locus-trait associations, representing 1529 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) and 2318 candidate genes, many that co-localize with previously reported maize drought responsive QTLs. Expression QTL (eQTL) analysis uncovers many local and distant regulatory variants that control the expression of the candidate genes. We use genetic mutation analysis to validate two new genes, ZmcPGM2 and ZmFAB1A, which regulate i-traits and drought tolerance. Moreover, the value of the candidate genes as drought-tolerant genetic markers is revealed by genome selection analysis, and 15 i-traits are identified as potential markers for maize drought tolerance breeding.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our study demonstrates that combining high-throughput multiple optical phenotyping and GWAS is a novel and effective approach to dissect the genetic architecture of complex traits and clone drought-tolerance associated genes.
Project description:Results: In this study, the ears at the V9 stage, kernels and ear leaf at the 5DAP (days after pollination) stage of maize were used for morphological, physiological and comparative transcriptomics analysis to understand the different features of “sink” or “source” organs and the effects on kernel yield under drought stress conditions. The ABA-, NAC-mediate signaling pathway, osmotic protective substance synthesis and protein folding response were identified as common drought stress response in the three organs. Tissue-specific drought stress responses and the regulators were identified, they were highly correlated with growth, physiological adaptation and yield loss under drought stress. For ears, drought stress inhibited ear elongation, led to the abnormal differentiation of the paired spikelet, and auxin signaling involved in the regulation of cell division and growth and primordium development changes. In the kernels, reduced kernel size caused by drought stress was observed, and the obvious differences of auxin, BR and cytokine signaling transduction appeared, which indicated the modification in carbohydrate metabolism, cell differentiation and growth retardation. For the ear leaf, dramatically and synergistically reduced the expression of photosynthesis genes were observed when suffered from drought stress, the ABA- and NAC- mediate signaling pathway played important roles in the regulation of photosynthesis. Conclusions: Transcriptomic changes caused by drought were highly correlated with developmental and physiological adaptation, which was closely related to the final yield of maize, and a sketch of tissue- and developmental stage-specific responses to drought stress in maize was drafted. Overall design: Examination of 3 different organs (ears at the V9 stage, kernels and ear leaf at the 5DAP )of B104 maize inbed line under normal and drought conditions