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HvGST4 enhances tolerance to multiple abiotic stresses in barley: Evidence from integrated meta-analysis to functional verification

Pan, R., Ding, M., Feng, Z., Zeng, F., Medison, M.B., Hu, H.ORCID: 0000-0003-1070-213X, Han, Y.ORCID: 0000-0001-6480-0398, Xu, L., Li, C. and Zhang, W. (2022) HvGST4 enhances tolerance to multiple abiotic stresses in barley: Evidence from integrated meta-analysis to functional verification. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 188 . pp. 47-59.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2022.07.027
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Abstract

Extreme weather events have become more frequent, increasing crop yield fluctuations in many regions and thus the risk to global food security. Breeding crop cultivars with improved tolerance to a combination of abiotic stresses is an effective solution to counter the adverse impact of climate change. The ever-increasing genomic data and analytical tools provide unprecedented opportunities to mine genes with tolerance to multiple abiotic stresses through bioinformatics analysis. We undertook an integrated meta-analysis using 260 transcriptome data of barley related to drought, salt, heat, cold, and waterlogging stresses. A total of 223 shared differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in response to five abiotic stresses, and significantly enriched in ‘glutathione metabolism’ and ‘monoterpenoid biosynthesis’ pathways. Using weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA), we further identified 15 hub genes (e.g., MYB, WRKY, NADH, and GST4) and selected the GST4 gene for functional validation. HvGST4 overexpression in Arabidopsis thaliana enhanced the tolerance to multiple abiotic stresses, likely through increasing the content of glutathione to scavenge reactive oxygen species and alleviate cell membrane peroxidation. Furthermore, we showed that virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) of HvGST4 in barley leaves exacerbated cell membrane peroxidation under five abiotic stresses, reducing tolerance to multiple abiotic stress. Our study provides a new solution for identifying genes with tolerance to multiple abiotic stresses based on meta-analysis, which could contribute to breeding new varieties adapted genetically to adverse environmental conditions.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education
State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre
Western Crop Genetics Alliance
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Copyright: © 2022 Elsevier Masson SAS.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/65895
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