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Diurnal Oscillations of Soybean Circadian Clock and Drought Responsive Genes

Marcolino-Gomes, Juliana, Rodrigues, Fabiana Aparecida, Fuganti-Pagliarini, Renata, Bendix, Claire, Nakayama, Thiago Jonas, Celaya, Brandon, Molinari, Hugo Bruno Correa, de Oliveira, Maria Cristina Neves, Harmon, Frank G., Nepomuceno, Alexandre, Cermakian, Nicolas
Glycine max, abscisic acid, circadian rhythm, crops, drought, gene expression, gene expression regulation, genes, promoter regions, soybeans, water stress
Rhythms produced by the endogenous circadian clock play a critical role in allowing plants to respond and adapt to the environment. While there is a well-established regulatory link between the circadian clock and responses to abiotic stress in model plants, little is known of the circadian system in crop species like soybean. This study examines how drought impacts diurnal oscillation of both drought responsive and circadian clock genes in soybean. Drought stress induced marked changes in gene expression of several circadian clock-like components, such as LCL1 -, GmELF4 - and PRR -like genes, which had reduced expression in stressed plants. The same conditions produced a phase advance of expression for the GmTOC1 -like, GmLUX -like and GmPRR7 -like genes. Similarly, the rhythmic expression pattern of the soybean drought-responsive genes DREB- , bZIP- , GOLS -, RAB18 - and Remorin -like changed significantly after plant exposure to drought. In silico analysis of promoter regions of these genes revealed the presence of cis-elements associated both with stress and circadian clock regulation. Furthermore, some soybean genes with upstream ABRE elements were responsive to abscisic acid treatment. Our results indicate that some connection between the drought response and the circadian clock may exist in soybean since (i) drought stress affects gene expression of circadian clock components and (ii) several stress responsive genes display diurnal oscillation in soybeans.