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RNA-Seq analysis revealed genes associated with drought stress response in kabuli chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.)

Prasad, M., Mahdavi Mashaki, K., Garg, V., Nasrollahnezhad Ghomi, A.A., Kudapa, H., Chitikineni, A., Zaynali Nezhad, K., Yamchi, A., Soltanloo, H., Varshney, R.K.ORCID: 0000-0002-4562-9131 and Thudi, M. (2018) RNA-Seq analysis revealed genes associated with drought stress response in kabuli chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). PLoS ONE, 13 (6). Art. e0199774.

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Drought is the most important constraint that effects chickpea production globally. RNA-Seq has great potential to dissect the molecular mechanisms of tolerance to environmental stresses. Transcriptome profiles in roots and shoots of two contrasting Iranian kabuli chickpea genotypes (Bivanij and Hashem) were investigated under water-limited conditions at early flowering stage using RNA-Seq approach. A total of 4,572 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified. Of these, 261 and 169 drought stress responsive genes were identified in the shoots and the roots, respectively, and 17 genes were common in the shoots and the roots. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis revealed several sub-categories related to the stress, including response to stress, defense response and response to stimulus in the tolerant genotype Bivanij as compared to the sensitive genotype Hashem under drought stress. In addition, several Transcription factors (TFs) were identified in major metabolic pathways such as, ABA, proline and flavonoid biosynthesis. Furthermore, a number of the DEGs were observed in “QTL-hotspot” regions which were reported earlier in chickpea. Drought tolerance dissection in the genotypes revealed that the genes and the pathways involved in shoots of Bivanij were the most important factor to make a difference between the genotypes for drought tolerance. The identified TFs in the experiment, particularly those which were up-regulated in shoots of Bivanij during drought stress, were potential candidates for enhancing tolerance to drought.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Copyright: © 2018 The Authors.
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