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Transcriptional profiles of drought-responsive genes in modulating transcription signal transduction, and biochemical pathways in tomato

Pengjuan Gong, Junhong Zhang, Hanxia Li, Changxian Yang, Chanjuan Zhang, Xiaohui Zhang, Ziaf Khurram, Yuyang Zhang, Taotao Wang, Zhangjun Fei and Zhibiao Ye
Journal of Experimental Botany
Vol. 61, No. 13 (2010), pp. 3563-3575
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24038857
Page Count: 13
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Abstract

To unravel the molecular mechanisms of drought responses in tomato, gene expression profiles of two drought-tolerant lines identified from a population of Solanum pennellii introgression lines, and the recurrent parent S. lycopersicum cv. M82, a drought-sensitive cultivar, were investigated under drought stress using tomato micro-arrays. Around 400 genes identified were responsive to drought stress only in the drought-tolerant lines. These changes in genes expression are most likely caused by the two inserted chromosome segments of S. pennellii, which possibly contain drought-tolerance quantitative trait loci (QTLs). Among these genes are a number of transcription factors and signalling proteins which could be global regulators involved in the tomato responses to drought stress. Genes involved in organism growth and development processes were also specifically regulated by drought stress, including those controlling cell wall structure, wax biosynthesis, and plant height. Moreover, key enzymes in the pathways of gluconeogenesis (fructose-bisphosphate aldolase), purine and pyrimidine nucleotide biosynthesis (adenylate kinase), tryptophan degradation (aldehyde oxidase), starch degradation (β-amylase), methionine biosynthesis (cystathionine β-lyase), and the removal of superoxide radicals (catalase) were also specifically affected by drought stress. These results indicated that tomato plants could adapt to water-deficit conditions through decreasing energy dissipation, increasing ATP energy provision, and reducing oxidative damage. The drought-responsive genes identified in this study could provide further information for understanding the mechanisms of drought tolerance in tomato.

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