Plant nutrition is one of the important areas for improving the yield and quality in crops as well as non-crop plants. Potassium is an essential plant nutrient and is required in abundance for their proper growth and development. Potassium deficiency directly affects the plant growth and hence crop yield and production. Recently, potassium-dependent transcriptomic analysis has been performed in the model plant Arabidopsis, however in cereals and crop plants; such a transcriptome analysis has not been undertaken till date. In rice, the molecular mechanism for the regulation of potassium starvation responses has not been investigated in detail. Here, we present a combined physiological and whole genome transcriptomic study of rice seedlings exposed to a brief period of potassium deficiency then replenished with potassium. Our results reveal that the expressions of a diverse set of genes annotated with many distinct functions were altered under potassium deprivation. Our findings highlight altered expression patterns of potassium-responsive genes majorly involved in metabolic processes, stress responses, signaling pathways, transcriptional regulation, and transport of multiple molecules including K+. Interestingly, several genes responsive to low-potassium conditions show a reversal in expression upon resupply of potassium. The results of this study indicate that potassium deprivation leads to activation of multiple genes and gene networks, which may be acting in concert to sense the external potassium and mediate uptake, distribution and ultimately adaptation to low potassium conditions. The interplay of both upregulated and downregulated genes globally in response to potassium deprivation determines how plants cope with the stress of nutrient deficiency at different physiological as well as developmental stages of plants.
Plants face a variety of environmental stresses and have evolved molecular mechanisms to survive these challenges. One of these stresses is low oxygen conditions, which can occur under flooding conditions. Rice (Oryza sativa) is somewhat unique for its ability to tolerate and even germinate under low to no oxygen conditions. In this study, we examined global transcriptomic responses over the course of germination and in response to low oxygen and other abiotic stress in rice and Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Over 150 microarray datasets were analyzed in parallel to determine just how unique the low oxygen response is in rice. Comparison of aerobic germination in rice and Arabidopsis, with anaerobic germination in rice revealed conserved transcriptomic responses that are not only conserved across both species but also occur in the absence of oxygen in rice. Thus, these genes may represent functions necessary for the developmental progression of germination, whether or not oxygen is present in rice. Analysis of genes that responded differently in rice compared to Arabidopsis revealed responses specific to anaerobic germination in rice, including the down-regulation of genes encoding redox functions and up-regulation of receptor kinases. Comparison of a range of hypoxia/anoxia studies within and across Arabidopsis and rice revealed both conserved and species specific changes in gene expression (e.g., Arabidopsis specific up-regulation of WRKYs and rice specific down-regulation of heme), unveiling unique transcriptomic signatures of the low oxygen response. Lastly, a comparison of the low oxygen response with cold, salt, drought and heat stress revealed some similarity with the response to heat stress in Arabidopsis, which was not seen in rice. Comparison of these heat-responsive, abiotic stress marker genes in Arabidopsis with their rice orthologs revealed that while low oxygen may be perceived as an abiotic stress in Arabidopsis, this is not the case in rice.
low oxygen; transcriptomes; rice; Arabidopsis; microarrays
Rice (Oryza sativa) varieties that are arsenate-tolerant (Bala) and -sensitive (Azucena) were used to conduct a transcriptome analysis of the response of rice seedlings to sodium arsenate (AsV) in hydroponic solution. RNA extracted from the roots of three replicate experiments of plants grown for 1 week in phosphate-free nutrient with or without 13.3 μM AsV was used to challenge the Affymetrix (52K) GeneChip Rice Genome array. A total of 576 probe sets were significantly up-regulated at least 2-fold in both varieties, whereas 622 were down-regulated. Ontological classification is presented. As expected, a large number of transcription factors, stress proteins, and transporters demonstrated differential expression. Striking is the lack of response of classic oxidative stress-responsive genes or phytochelatin synthases/synthatases. However, the large number of responses from genes involved in glutathione synthesis, metabolism, and transport suggests that glutathione conjugation and arsenate methylation may be important biochemical responses to arsenate challenge. In this report, no attempt is made to dissect differences in the response of the tolerant and sensitive variety, but analysis in a companion article will link gene expression to the known tolerance loci available in the Bala×Azucena mapping population.
Arsenate tolerance; candidate genes; glutathione-S-transferase; microarray; Oryza sativa
Deficiency of the three essential macronutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, leads to large reduction in crop growth and yield. To characterize the molecular genetic basis of adaptation to macronutrient deprivation, we performed microarray analysis of rice root at 6 and 24 h after nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium deficiency treatments. The transcriptome response to nitrogen depletion occurred more rapidly than corresponding responses to phosphorus and potassium deprivation. We identified several genes important for response and adaptation to each nutrient deficiency. Furthermore, we found that signaling via reactive oxygen species is a common feature in response to macronutrient deficiency and signaling via jasmonic acid is associated with potassium depletion response. These results will facilitate deeper understanding of nutrient utilization of plants.
rice; root; transcriptome; macronutrient deficiency; microarray
Water deficiency is one of the most serious worldwide problems for agriculture. Recently, it has become more serious and outspread, which urgently requires the production of drought-tolerant plants. Microarray experiments using mRNA from air-dried leaves and roots of rice were performed in an attempt to study genes involved in acute dehydration response.
Set of 10,537 rice genes was significantly up- or down-regulated in leaves or roots under the treatment. Gene Ontology analysis highlighted gene expression during acute dehydration response depending on organ types and the duration of stress. Rice responded by down-regulating many processes which are mainly involved in inhibiting growth and development. On the other hand, phytohormones (ABA, cytokinin, brassinosteroid) and protective molecules were induced to answer to multiple stresses. Leaves induced more genes than roots but those genes were scattered in various processes, most significantly were productions of osmoprotectants and precursors for important pathways in roots. Roots up-regulated fewer genes and focused on inducing antioxidants and enhancing photosynthesis. Myb, zf-C3HC4, and NAM were most strongly affected transcription factors with the dominance of leaf over root.
Leaf and root tissues shared some common gene expression during stress, with the purpose of enhancing protective systems. However, these two tissues appeared to act differently in response to the different level of dehydration they experience. Besides, they can affect each other via the signaling and transportation system.
Rice; Microarray; Gene ontology; Acute dehydration; ABA; Osmoprotectant; Antioxidant; Photosynthesis
Widespread use of chromium (Cr) contaminated fields due to careless and inappropriate management practices of effluent discharge, mostly from industries related to metallurgy, electroplating, production of paints and pigments, tanning, and wood preservation elevates its concentration in surface soil and eventually into rice plants and grains. In spite of many previous studies having been conducted on the effects of chromium stress, the precise molecular mechanisms related to both the effects of chromium phytotoxicity, the defense reactions of plants against chromium exposure as well as translocation and accumulation in rice remain poorly understood.
Detailed analysis of genome-wide transcriptome profiling in rice root is reported here, following Cr-plant interaction. Such studies are important for the identification of genes responsible for tolerance, accumulation and defense response in plants with respect to Cr stress. Rice root metabolome analysis was also carried out to relate differential transcriptome data to biological processes affected by Cr (VI) stress in rice. To check whether the Cr-specific motifs were indeed significantly over represented in the promoter regions of Cr-responsive genes, occurrence of these motifs in whole genome sequence was carried out. In the background of whole genome, the lift value for these 14 and 13 motifs was significantly high in the test dataset. Though no functional role has been assigned to any of the motifs, but all of these are present as promoter motifs in the Database of orthologus promoters.
These findings clearly suggest that a complex network of regulatory pathways modulates Cr-response of rice. The integrated matrix of both transcriptome and metabolome data after suitable normalization and initial calculations provided us a visual picture of the correlations between components. Predominance of different motifs in the subsets of genes suggests the involvement of motif-specific transcription modulating proteins in Cr stress response of rice.
Plant roots are important organs to uptake soil water and nutrients, perceiving and transducing of soil water deficit signals to shoot. The current knowledge of drought stress transcriptomes in rice are mostly relying on comparative studies of diverse genetic background under drought. A more reliable approach is to use near-isogenic lines (NILs) with a common genetic background but contrasting levels of resistance to drought stress under initial exposure to water deficit. Here, we examined two pairs of NILs in IR64 background with contrasting drought tolerance. We obtained gene expression profile in roots of rice NILs under different levels of drought stress help to identify genes and mechanisms involved in drought stress.
Global gene expression analysis showed that about 55% of genes differentially expressed in roots of rice in response to drought stress treatments. The number of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) increased in NILs as the level of water deficits, increased from mild to severe condition, suggesting that more genes were affected by increasing drought stress. Gene onthology (GO) test and biological pathway analysis indicated that activated genes in the drought tolerant NILs IR77298-14-1-2-B-10 and IR77298-5-6-B-18 were mostly involved in secondary metabolism, amino acid metabolism, response to stimulus, defence response, transcription and signal transduction, and down-regulated genes were involved in photosynthesis and cell wall growth. We also observed gibberellic acid (GA) and auxin crosstalk modulating lateral root formation in the tolerant NILs.
Transcriptome analysis on two pairs of NILs with a common genetic background (~97%) showed distinctive differences in gene expression profiles and could be effective to unravel genes involved in drought tolerance. In comparison with the moderately tolerant NIL IR77298-5-6-B-18 and other susceptible NILs, the tolerant NIL IR77298-14-1-2-B-10 showed a greater number of DEGs for cell growth, hormone biosynthesis, cellular transports, amino acid metabolism, signalling, transcription factors and carbohydrate metabolism in response to drought stress treatments. Thus, different mechanisms are achieving tolerance in the two tolerant lines.
Plants possess two types of phosphofructokinase proteins for phosphorylation of fructose-6-phosphate, the ATP-dependent phosphofructokinase (PFK) and the pyrophosphate-(PPi) dependent pyrophosphate-fructose-6-phosphate-phosphotransferase (PFP). During oxygen deficiency ATP levels in rice seedlings are severely reduced, and it is hypothesized that PPi is used as an alternative energy source for the phosphorylation of fructose-6-phosphate during glycolysis. In this study, we analyzed the expression of 15 phosphofructokinase-encoding genes in roots and aerial tissues of anoxia-tolerant rice seedlings in response to anoxic stress and compared our data with transcript profiles obtained from microarray analyses. Furthermore, the intracellular localization of rice PFK proteins was determined, and the PFK and PFP isoforms were grouped in a phylogenetic tree. Two PFK and two PFP transcripts accumulated during anoxic stress, whereas mRNA levels of four PFK and three PFP genes were decreased. The total specific activity of both PFK and PFP changed only slightly during a 24-h anoxia treatment. It is assumed that expression of different isoforms and their catalytic properties differ during normoxic and anoxic conditions and contribute to balanced glycolytic activity during the low-oxygen stress. These characterizations of phosphofructokinase genes and the comparison to other plant species allowed us to suggest candidate rice genes for adaptation to anoxic stress.
Oryza sativa; anoxia; submergence; phosphofructokinase; pyrophosphate
Imprints of stress response by rice seedlings in terms of expression levels of stress response gene HSP70 are characterised . The response to arsenic and/or heat shock are shown to be additive for the same stress or the combined stresses, indicating a commonality of signalling pathways.
Background and aims
Plants can withstand many abiotic stresses. Stress adaptation through retention of imprints of previous stress exposure has also been described in plants. We have characterized the imprint or memory of adaptive stress responses of rice seedlings to arsenic (As) and heat stress.
Two-week-old rice seedlings (both with and without As) were given a 45 °C heat shock for 3 h. While under heat shock, the leafy portion of the seedlings was harvested at regular intervals. Subsequently, the seedlings were kept at room temperature for recovery and sampling continued over 3 h. Total RNA and protein were extracted from the leafy portion of the seedlings and complementary DNA (cDNA) was prepared from total RNA. The cDNA was used as a template for the polymerase chain reaction to identify the transcription level of HSP70. Protein extracted from the seedlings was western-blotted. HSP70 and actin (loading control) antibodies were used to recognize the proteins on the same blot.
Our studies reveal that HSP70, a cellular chaperone gene, is over-expressed at the mRNA and protein levels when rice seedlings are exposed to As and heat. The effect is cumulative and increases with the duration of stress for 3 h. During 3 h recovery from heat stress at ambient temperatures for 3 h, the chaperone remains expressed at higher levels in plants pre-exposed to As.
Our findings demonstrate a retention of the imprint of previous stress exposure, perhaps through sustained activation of the signalling pathways upstream of over-expression of HSP70. Furthermore, stress-induced HSP70 expression was additive/cumulative for continued exposure to similar or different kinds of stress, indicating that a commonality of signal transduction networks is adopted when plants experience more than one stress.
Gene expression in response to Cu stress in rice leaves was quantified using DNA microarray (Agilent 22K Rice Oligo Microarray) and real-time PCR technology. Rice plants were grown in hydroponic solutions containing 0.3 (control), 10, 45, or 130 μM of CuCl2, and Cu accumulation and photosynthesis inhibition were observed in leaves within 1 d of the start of treatment. Microarray analysis flagged 305 Cu-responsive genes, and their expression profile showed that a large proportion of general and defence stress response genes are up-regulated under excess Cu conditions, whereas photosynthesis and transport-related genes are down-regulated. The Cu sensitivity of each Cu-responsive gene was estimated by the median effective concentration value (EC50) and the range of fold-changes (F) under the highest (130 μM) Cu conditions (|log2F|130). Our results indicate that defence-related genes involved in phytoalexin and lignin biosynthesis were the most sensitive to Cu, and that plant management of abiotic and pathogen stresses has overlapping components, possibly including signal transduction.
Copper-sensitivity; DNA microarray; excess copper stress; gene expression; Oryza sativa L
Plant growth depends on synergistic interactions between internal and external signals, and yield potential of crops is a manifestation of how these complex factors interact, particularly at critical stages of development. As an initial step towards developing a systems-level understanding of the biological processes underlying the expression of overall agronomic potential in cereal crops, a high-resolution transcriptome analysis of rice was conducted throughout life cycle of rice grown under natural field conditions.
A wide range of gene expression profiles based on 48 organs and tissues at various developmental stages identified 731 organ/tissue specific genes as well as 215 growth stage-specific expressed genes universally in leaf blade, leaf sheath, and root. Continuous transcriptome profiling of leaf from transplanting until harvesting further elucidated the growth-stage specificity of gene expression and uncovered two major drastic changes in the leaf transcriptional program. The first major change occurred before the panicle differentiation, accompanied by the expression of RFT1, a putative florigen gene in long day conditions, and the downregulation of the precursors of two microRNAs. This transcriptome change was also associated with physiological alterations including phosphate-homeostasis state as evident from the behavior of several key regulators such as miR399. The second major transcriptome change occurred just after flowering, and based on analysis of sterile mutant lines, we further revealed that the formation of strong sink, i.e., a developing grain, is not the major cause but is rather a promoter of this change.
Our study provides not only the genetic basis for functional genomics in rice but also new insight into understanding the critical physiological processes involved in flowering and seed development, that could lead to novel strategies for optimizing crop productivity.
Rice is highly sensitive to drought, and the effect of drought may vary with the different genotypes and development stages. Genome-wide gene expression profiling was used as the initial point to dissect molecular genetic mechanism of this complex trait and provide valuable information for the improvement of drought tolerance in rice. Affymetrix rice genome array containing 48,564 japonica and 1,260 indica sequences was used to analyze the gene expression pattern of rice exposed to drought stress. The transcriptome from leaf, root, and young panicle at three developmental stages was comparatively analyzed combined with bioinformatics exploring drought stress related cis-elements.
There were 5,284 genes detected to be differentially expressed under drought stress. Most of these genes were tissue- or stage-specific regulated by drought. The tissue-specific down-regulated genes showed distinct function categories as photosynthesis-related genes prevalent in leaf, and the genes involved in cell membrane biogenesis and cell wall modification over-presented in root and young panicle. In a drought environment, several genes, such as GA2ox, SAP15, and Chitinase III, were regulated in a reciprocal way in two tissues at the same development stage. A total of 261 transcription factor genes were detected to be differentially regulated by drought stress. Most of them were also regulated in a tissue- or stage-specific manner. A cis-element containing special CGCG box was identified to over-present in the upstream of 55 common induced genes, and it may be very important for rice plants responding to drought environment.
Genome-wide gene expression profiling revealed that most of the drought differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were under temporal and spatial regulation, suggesting a crosstalk between various development cues and environmental stimuli. The identification of the differentially regulated DEGs, including TF genes and unique candidate cis-element for drought responsiveness, is a very useful resource for the functional dissection of the molecular mechanism in rice responding to environment stress.
Phospholipase A (PLA) is an important group of enzymes responsible for phospholipid hydrolysis in lipid signaling. PLAs have been implicated in abiotic stress signaling and developmental events in various plants species. Genome-wide analysis of PLA superfamily has been carried out in dicot plant Arabidopsis. A comprehensive genome-wide analysis of PLAs has not been presented yet in crop plant rice.
A comprehensive bioinformatics analysis identified a total of 31 PLA encoding genes in the rice genome, which are divided into three classes; phospholipase A1 (PLA1), patatin like phospholipases (pPLA) and low molecular weight secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) based on their sequences and phylogeny. A subset of 10 rice PLAs exhibited chromosomal duplication, emphasizing the role of duplication in the expansion of this gene family in rice. Microarray expression profiling revealed a number of PLA members expressing differentially and significantly under abiotic stresses and reproductive development. Comparative expression analysis with Arabidopsis PLAs revealed a high degree of functional conservation between the orthologs in two plant species, which also indicated the vital role of PLAs in stress signaling and plant development across different plant species. Moreover, sub-cellular localization of a few candidates suggests their differential localization and functional role in the lipid signaling.
The comprehensive analysis and expression profiling would provide a critical platform for the functional characterization of the candidate PLA genes in crop plants.
Plants are simultaneously exposed to multiple stresses resulting in enormous changes in the molecular landscape within the cell. Identification and characterization of the synergistic and antagonistic components of stress response mechanisms contributing to the cross talk between stresses is of high priority to explore and enhance multiple stress responses. To this end, we performed meta-analysis of drought (abiotic), bacterial (biotic) stress response in rice and Arabidopsis by analyzing a total of 386 microarray samples belonging to 20 microarray studies and identified approximately 3100 and 900 DEGs in rice and Arabidopsis, respectively. About 38.5% (1214) and 28.7% (272) DEGs were common to drought and bacterial stresses in rice and Arabidopsis, respectively. A majority of these common DEGs showed conserved expression status in both stresses. Gene ontology enrichment analysis clearly demarcated the response and regulation of various plant hormones and related biological processes. Fatty acid metabolism and biosynthesis of alkaloids were upregulated and, nitrogen metabolism and photosynthesis was downregulated in both stress conditions. WRKY transcription family genes were highly enriched in all upregulated gene sets while ‘CO-like’ TF family showed inverse relationship of expression between drought and bacterial stresses. Weighted gene co-expression network analysis divided DEG sets into multiple modules that show high co-expression and identified stress specific hub genes with high connectivity. Detection of consensus modules based on DEGs common to drought and bacterial stress revealed 9 and 4 modules in rice and Arabidopsis, respectively, with conserved and reversed co-expression patterns.
Arabidopsis thaliana is clearly established as the model plant species. Given the ever-growing demand for food, there is a need to translate the knowledge learned in Arabidopsis to agronomically important species, such as rice (Oryza sativa). To gain a comparative insight into the similarities and differences into how organs are built and how plants respond to stress, the transcriptomes of Arabidopsis and rice were compared at the level of gene orthology and functional categorisation.
Organ specific transcripts in rice and Arabidopsis display less overlap in terms of gene orthology compared to the orthology observed between both genomes. Although greater overlap in terms of functional classification was observed between root specific transcripts in rice and Arabidopsis, this did not extend to flower, leaf or seed specific transcripts. In contrast, the overall abiotic stress response transcriptome displayed a significantly greater overlap in terms of gene orthology compared to the orthology observed between both genomes. However, ~50% or less of these orthologues responded in a similar manner in both species. In fact, under cold and heat treatments as many or more orthologous genes responded in an opposite manner or were unchanged in one species compared to the other. Examples of transcripts that responded oppositely include several genes encoding proteins involved in stress and redox responses and non-symbiotic hemoglobins that play central roles in stress signalling pathways. The differences observed in the abiotic transcriptomes were mirrored in the presence of cis-acting regulatory elements in the promoter regions of stress responsive genes and the transcription factors that potentially bind these regulatory elements. Thus, both the abiotic transcriptome and its regulation differ between rice and Arabidopsis.
These results reveal significant divergence between Arabidopsis and rice, in terms of the abiotic stress response and its regulation. Both plants are shown to employ unique combinations of genes to achieve growth and stress responses. Comparison of these networks provides a more rational approach to translational studies that is based on the response observed in these two diverse plant models.
Rice blast disease is a major threat to rice production worldwide, but the mechanisms underlying rice resistance to the causal agent Magnaporthe oryzae remain elusive. Therefore, we carried out a transcriptome study on rice early defense response to M. oryzae. We found that the transcriptional profiles of rice compatible and incompatible interactions with M. oryzae were mostly similar, with genes regulated more prominently in the incompatible interactions. The functional analysis showed that the genes involved in signaling and secondary metabolism were extensively up-regulated. In particular, WRKY transcription factor genes were significantly enriched among the up-regulated genes. Overexpressing one of these WRKY genes, OsWRKY47, in transgenic rice plants conferred enhanced resistance against rice blast fungus. Our results revealed the sophisticated transcriptional reprogramming of signaling and metabolic pathways during rice early response to M. oryzae and demonstrated the critical roles of WRKY transcription factors in rice blast resistance.
Phospholipase D is one of the crucial enzymes involved in lipid mediated signaling, triggered during various developmental and physiological processes. Different members of PLD gene family have been known to be induced under different abiotic stresses and during developmental processes in various plant species. In this report, we are presenting a detailed microarray based expression analysis and expression profiles of entire set of PLD genes in rice genome, under three abiotic stresses (salt, cold and drought) and different developmental stages (3-vegetative stages and 11-reproductive stages). Seven and nine PLD genes were identified, which were expressed differentially under abiotic stresses and during reproductive developmental stages, respectively. PLD genes, which were expressed significantly under abiotic stresses exhibited an overlapping expression pattern and were also differentially expressed during developmental stages. Moreover, expression pattern for a set of stress induced genes was validated by real time PCR and it supported the microarray expression data. These findings emphasize the role of PLDs in abiotic stress signaling and development in rice. In addition, expression profiling for duplicated PLD genes revealed a functional divergence between the duplicated genes and signify the role of gene duplication in the evolution of this gene family in rice. This expressional study will provide an important platform in future for the functional characterization of PLDs in crop plants.
abiotic stress; development; gene expression; microarray analysis; phospholipase D
Reference genes are widely used to normalise transcript abundance data determined by quantitative RT-PCR and microarrays. However, the approaches taken to define reference genes can be variable. Although Oryza sativa (rice) is a widely used model plant and important crop specie, there has been no comprehensive analysis carried out to define superior reference genes.
Analysis of 136 Affymetrix transcriptome datasets comprising of 373 genome microarrays from studies in rice that encompass tissue, developmental, abiotic, biotic and hormonal transcriptome datasets identified 151 genes whose expression was considered relatively stable under all conditions. A sub-set of 12 of these genes were validated by quantitative RT-PCR and were seen to be stable under a number of conditions. All except one gene that has been previously proposed as a stably expressed gene for rice, were observed to change significantly under some treatment.
A new set of reference genes that are stable across tissue, development, stress and hormonal treatments have been identified in rice. This provides a superior set of reference genes for future studies in rice. It confirms the approach of mining large scale datasets as a robust method to define reference genes, but cautions against using gene orthology or counterparts of reference genes in other plant species as a means of defining reference genes.
Although the phytohormone auxin has been implicated primarily in developmental processes, some recent studies suggest its involvement in stress/defense responses as well. Recently, we identified auxin-responsive genes and reported their comprehensive transcript profiling during various stages of development and abiotic stress responses in crop plant rice. The analysis revealed tissue-specific and overlapping expression profiles of auxin-responsive genes during various stages of reproductive development. In addition, a large number of auxin-responsive genes were also found to be differentially expressed under various abiotic stress conditions. Here, we further analyze the expression profiles of auxin-responsive genes during various biotic stress conditions. Several auxin-responsive genes showed response to biotic stress as well. Our analysis provides evidence for role of auxin in plant defense responses and suggests cross-talk between auxin, abiotic stress and biotic stress signaling pathways.
auxin; auxin-responsive genes; biotic stress; rice (Oryza sativa); microarray
Rice at reproductive stage is more sensitive to environmental changes, and little is known about the mechanism of heat response in rice panicle. Here, using rice microarray, we provided a time course gene expression profile of rice panicle at anther developmental stage 8 after 40°C treatment for 0 min, 20 min, 60 min, 2 h, 4 h, and 8 h. The identified differentially expressed genes were mainly involved in transcriptional regulation, transport, cellular homeostasis, and stress response. The predominant transcription factor gene families responsive to heat stress were Hsf, NAC, AP2/ERF, WRKY, MYB, and C2H2. KMC analysis discovered the time-dependent gene expression pattern under heat stress. The motif co-occurrence analysis on the promoters of genes from an early up-regulated cluster showed the important roles of GCC box, HSE, ABRE, and CE3 in response to heat stress. The regulation model central to ROS combined with transcriptome and ROS quantification data in rice panicle indicated the great importance to maintain ROS balance and the existence of wide cross-talk in heat response. The present study increased our understanding of the heat response in rice panicle and provided good candidate genes for crop improvement.
Rice is one of the major crop species in the world helping to sustain approximately half of the global population’s diet especially in Asia. However, due to the impact of extreme climate change and global warming, rice crop production and yields may be adversely affected resulting in a world food crisis. Researchers have been keen to understand the effects of drought, temperature and other environmental stress factors on rice plant growth and development. Gene expression microarray technology represents a key strategy for the identification of genes and their associated expression patterns in response to stress. Here, we report on the development of the rice OneArray® microarray platform which is suitable for two major rice subspecies, japonica and indica.
The rice OneArray® 60-mer, oligonucleotide microarray consists of a total of 21,179 probes covering 20,806 genes of japonica and 13,683 genes of indica. Through a validation study, total RNA isolated from rice shoots and roots were used for comparison of gene expression profiles via microarray examination. The results were submitted to NCBI’s Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO). Data can be found under the GEO accession number GSE50844 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/geo/query/acc.cgi?acc=GSE50844). A list of significantly differentially expressed genes was generated; 438 shoot-specific genes were identified among 3,138 up-regulated genes, and 463 root-specific genes were found among 3,845 down-regulated genes. GO enrichment analysis demonstrates these results are in agreement with the known physiological processes of the different organs/tissues. Furthermore, qRT-PCR validation was performed on 66 genes, and found to significantly correlate with the microarray results (R = 0.95, p < 0.001***).
The rice OneArray® 22 K microarray, the first rice microarray, covering both japonica and indica subspecies was designed and validated in a comprehensive study of gene expression in rice tissues. The rice OneArray® microarray platform revealed high specificity and sensitivity. Additional information for the rice OneArray® microarray can be found at http://www.phalanx.com.tw/index.php.
Japonica; Indica; Rice; Microarray
The phytohormone ethylene is a key signaling molecule that regulates a variety of developmental processes and stress responses in plants. Transcriptional modulation is a pivotal process controlling ethylene synthesis, which further triggers the expression of stress-related genes and plant adaptation to stresses; however, it is unclear how this process is transcriptionally modulated in rice. In the present research, we report the transcriptional regulation of a novel rice ethylene response factor (ERF) in ethylene synthesis and drought tolerance. Through analysis of transcriptional data, one of the drought-responsive ERF genes, OsDERF1, was identified for its activation in response to drought, ethylene and abscisic acid. Transgenic plants overexpressing OsDERF1 (OE) led to reduced tolerance to drought stress in rice at seedling stage, while knockdown of OsDERF1 (RI) expression conferred enhanced tolerance at seedling and tillering stages. This regulation was supported by negative modulation in osmotic adjustment response. To elucidate the molecular basis of drought tolerance, we identified the target genes of OsDERF1 using the Affymetrix GeneChip, including the activation of cluster stress-related negative regulators such as ERF repressors. Biochemical and molecular approaches showed that OsDERF1 at least directly interacted with the GCC box in the promoters of ERF repressors OsERF3 and OsAP2-39. Further investigations showed that OE seedlings had reduced expression (while RI lines showed enhanced expression) of ethylene synthesis genes, thereby resulting in changes in ethylene production. Moreover, overexpression of OsERF3/OsAP2-39 suppressed ethylene synthesis. In addition, application of ACC recovered the drought-sensitive phenotype in the lines overexpressing OsERF3, showing that ethylene production contributed to drought response in rice. Thus our data reveal that a novel ERF transcriptional cascade modulates drought response through controlling the ethylene synthesis, deepening our understanding of the regulation of ERF proteins in ethylene related drought response.
Plant apoplast is the prime site for signal perception and defense response, and of great importance in responding to environmental stresses. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) plays a pivotal role in determining the responsiveness of cells to stress. However, how the apoplast proteome changes under oxidative condition is largely unknown. In this study, we initiated a comparative proteomic analysis to explore H2O2-responsive proteins in the apoplast of rice seedling roots.
14-day-old rice seedlings were treated with low concentrations (300 and 600 µM) of H2O2 for 6 h and the levels of relative electrolyte leakage, malondialdehyde and H2O2 were assayed in roots. The modified vacuum infiltration method was used to extract apoplast proteins of rice seedling roots, and then two-dimensional electrophoresis gel analysis revealed 58 differentially expressed protein spots under low H2O2 conditions. Of these, 54 were successfully identified by PMF or MS/MS as matches to 35 different proteins including known and novel H2O2-responsive proteins. Almost all of these identities (98%) were indeed apoplast proteins confirmed either by previous experiments or through publicly available prediction programs. These proteins identified are involved in a variety of processes, including redox homeostasis, cell wall modification, signal transduction, cell defense and carbohydrate metabolism, indicating a complex regulative network in the apoplast of seedling roots under H2O2 stress.
The present study is the first apoplast proteome investigation of plant seedlings in response to H2O2 and may be of paramount importance for the understanding of the plant network to environmental stresses. Based on the abundant changes in these proteins, together with their putative functions, we proposed a possible protein network that provides new insights into oxidative stress response in the rice root apoplast and clues for the further functional research of target proteins associated with H2O2 response.
'Systems-wide' approaches such as microarray RNA-profiling are ideally suited to the study of the complex overlapping responses of plants to biotic and abiotic stresses. However, commercial microarrays are only available for a limited number of plant species and development costs are so substantial as to be prohibitive for most research groups. Here we evaluate the use of cross-hybridisation to Affymetrix oligonucleotide GeneChip® microarrays to profile the response of the banana (Musa spp.) leaf transcriptome to drought stress using a genomic DNA (gDNA)-based probe-selection strategy to improve the efficiency of detection of differentially expressed Musa transcripts.
Following cross-hybridisation of Musa gDNA to the Rice GeneChip® Genome Array, ~33,700 gene-specific probe-sets had a sufficiently high degree of homology to be retained for transcriptomic analyses. In a proof-of-concept approach, pooled RNA representing a single biological replicate of control and drought stressed leaves of the Musa cultivar 'Cachaco' were hybridised to the Affymetrix Rice Genome Array. A total of 2,910 Musa gene homologues with a >2-fold difference in expression levels were subsequently identified. These drought-responsive transcripts included many functional classes associated with plant biotic and abiotic stress responses, as well as a range of regulatory genes known to be involved in coordinating abiotic stress responses. This latter group included members of the ERF, DREB, MYB, bZIP and bHLH transcription factor families. Fifty-two of these drought-sensitive Musa transcripts were homologous to genes underlying QTLs for drought and cold tolerance in rice, including in 2 instances QTLs associated with a single underlying gene. The list of drought-responsive transcripts also included genes identified in publicly-available comparative transcriptomics experiments.
Our results demonstrate that despite the general paucity of nucleotide sequence data in Musa and only distant phylogenetic relations to rice, gDNA probe-based cross-hybridisation to the Rice GeneChip® is a highly promising strategy to study complex biological responses and illustrates the potential of such strategies for gene discovery in non-model species.
Recently, we reported the genome-wide identification of 107 homeobox genes in rice and classified them into ten distinct subfamilies based upon their domain composition and phylogenetic analysis. Microarray analysis revealed the tissue-specific and overlapping expression profiles of these genes during various stages of floral transition, panicle development and seed set. Several homeobox genes were also found to be differentially expressed under abiotic stress conditions. Based on massively parallel signature sequencing (MPSS) data analysis, we report here that a large number of small RNA signatures are associated with rice homeobox genes, which may be involved in their tissue-specific/developmental regulation and stress responses. The association of a very large number of small RNA signatures suggested an unusually high degree of regulation of homeobox genes by small RNAs during inflorescence development.
homeobox genes; small RNA; microRNA; rice (Oryza sativa); developmental regulation; stress response