Changes in gene expression in maize kernel in response to water and salt stress
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Increasing pressure on limited water resources for agriculture, together with the global temperature increase, highlight the importance of breeding for drought-tolerant cultivars. A better understanding of the molecular nature of drought stress can be expected through the use of genomics approaches. Here, a macroarray of approximate to 2500 maize cDNAs was used for determining transcript changes during water- and salt-stress treatments of developing kernels at 15 days after pollination. Normalization of relative transcript abundances was carried out using a human nebulin control sequence. The proportions of transcripts that changed significantly in abundance upon treatment (> 2-fold compared to the control) were determined; 1.5% of the sequences examined were up-regulated by high salinity and 1% by water stress. Both stresses induced 0.8% of the sequences. These include genes involved in various stress responses: abiotic, wounding and pathogen attack (abscisic acid response binding fac...tor, glycine and proline-rich proteins, pathogenesis-related proteins, etc.). The proportion of down-regulated genes was higher than that for up-regulated genes for water stress (3.2%) and lower for salt stress (0.7%), although only eight genes, predominantly involved in energy generation, were down-regulated in both stress conditions. Co-expression of genes of unknown function under defined conditions may help in elucidating their roles in coordinating stress responses.
Keywords:expression analysis / macroarray / salt and water stress / Zea mays L
Source:Plant Cell Reports, 2006, 25, 1, 71-79
- Springer, New York
- Acknowledgements This project was supported by Max–Planck– Gesellschaft stipendium, to V.A. and by the EU-FP5 project QLK-2000-00302, SeedDesign.