Identification of key genes and its chromosome regions linked to drought responses in leaves across different crops through meta-analysis of RNA-Seq data

Federico Martinelli, Jubina Benny, Tiziano Caruso, Antonino Pisciotta, Antonino Pisciotta, Federico Martinelli, Tiziano Caruso, Jubina Benny

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26 Citazioni (Scopus)


BackgroundOur study is the first to provide RNA-Seq data analysis related to transcriptomic responses towards drought across different crops. The aim was to identify and map which genes play a key role in drought response on leaves across different crops. Forty-two RNA-seq samples were analyzed from 9 published studies in 7 plant species (Arabidopsis thaliana, Solanum lycopersicum, Zea mays, Vitis vinifera, Malus X domestica, Solanum tuberosum, Triticum aestivum).ResultsTwenty-seven (16 up-regulated and 11 down-regulated) drought-regulated genes were commonly present in at least 7 of 9 studies, while 351 (147 up-regulated and 204 down-regulated) were commonly drought-regulated in 6 of 9 studies. Across all kind of leaves, the drought repressed gene-ontologies were related to thecell wall and membrane re-structuring such as wax biosynthesis, cell wall organization, fatty acid biosynthesis. On the other hand, drought-up-regulated biological processes were related to responses to osmotic stress, abscisic acid, water deprivation, abscisic-activated signalling pathway, salt stress, hydrogen peroxide treatment. A common metabolic feature linked to drought response in leaves is the repression of terpenoid pathways. There was an induction of AL1 (alfin-like), UGKYAH (trihelix), WRKY20, homeobox genes and members of theSET domain family in 6 of 9 studies. Several genes involved in detoxifying and antioxidant reactions, signalling pathways and cell protection were commonly modulated by drought across the 7 species. The chromosome (Chr) mapping of these key abiotic stress genes highlighted that Chr4 in Arabidopsis thaliana, Chr1 in Zea mays, Chr2 and Chr5 in Triticum aestivum contained a higher presence of drought-related genes compared to the other remaining chromosomes. In seedling studies, it is worth notice the up-regulation of ERF4 and ESE3 (ethylene), HVA22 (abscisic acid), TIR1 (auxin) and some transcription factors (MYB3, MYB94, MYB1, WRKY53 and WRKY20). In mature leaves, ERF1 and Alfin-like 1 were induced by drought while other transcription factors (YABBY5, ARR2, TRFL2) and genes involved phospholipid biosynthesis were repressed.ConclusionsThe identified and mapped genes might be potential targets of molecular breeding activities to develop cultivars with enhanced drought resistance and tolerance across different crops.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-18
Numero di pagine18
RivistaBMC Plant Biology
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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