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Molecular response to water stress in two contrasting Mediterranean pines (Pinus pinaster and Pinus pinea)

Perdiguero, Pedro, Barbero, María del Carmen, Cervera, María Teresa, Collada, Carmen, Soto, Álvaro
Plant physiology and biochemistry 2013 v.67 pp. 199-208
Magnoliophyta, Pinus pinaster, Pinus pinea, basins, carbohydrate metabolism, conifers, dehydrins, drought, evolution, galactosidases, genes, glucose transporters, glycosyltransferases, microarray technology, plant genetic resources, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, stress response, transcription (genetics), transcription factors, vascular plants, water stress
Adaptation to water stress has determined the evolution and diversification of vascular plants. Water stress is forecasted to increase drastically in the next decades in certain regions, such as in the Mediterranean basin. Consequently, a proper knowledge of the response and adaptations to drought stress is essential for the correct management of plant genetic resources. However, most of the advances in the understanding of the molecular response to water stress have been attained in angiosperms, and are not always applicable to gymnosperms.In this work we analyse the transcriptional response of two emblematic Mediterranean pines, Pinus pinaster and Pinus pinea, which show noticeable differences in their performance under water stress. Using microarray analysis, up to 113 genes have been detected as significantly induced by drought in both species. Reliability of expression patterns has been confirmed by RT-PCR. While induced genes with similar profiles in both species can be considered as general candidate genes for the study of drought response in conifers, genes with diverging expression patterns can underpin the differences displayed by these species under water stress. Most promising candidate genes for drought stress response include genes related to carbohydrate metabolism, such as glycosyltransferases or galactosidases, sugar transporters, dehydrins and transcription factors. Additionally, differences in the molecular response to drought and polyethylene-glycol-induced water stress are also discussed.