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Genetic variation in physiological responses of mungbeans (Vigna radiata (L.) Wilczek) to drought

Raina, Susheel Kumar, Govindasamy, Venkadasamy, Kumar, Mahesh, Singh, Ajay Kumar, Rane, Jagadish, Minhas, Paramjit Singh
Acta physiologiae plantarum 2016 v.38 no.11 pp. 263
Vigna radiata, canopy, drought, drought tolerance, gene expression regulation, genes, genetic variation, genotype, introns, leaves, mung beans, photosynthesis, physiological response, proline, root systems, seed yield, soil water deficit, stomatal movement, temperature, water conservation
Mungbean is a relatively drought tolerant leguminous crop with a short life cycle. Using leaf water loss (LWL) as a screen for drought tolerance, two mungbean genotypes exhibiting more than two–fold variation in leaf water loss were explored for the genetic variation in their physiological and molecular responses to drought. Efficient stomatal regulation together with better photosynthetic capacity constituted an important trait combination for drought adaptation in water saving low LWL genotype. The stomatal closure under drought was accompanied with a concomitant down-regulation of farnesyl transferase gene. However, cooler canopy temperature, a well branched root system coupled with a relatively higher proline accumulation in water spending high LWL genotype constituted another set of adaptive traits operating when exposed to deficit soil moisture conditions. We report drought induced down-regulation of proline dehydrogenase and the presence of 118 base pair intron in this gene. The high seed yield of low LWL genotype despite a hotter canopy might be attributed to higher net assimilation and quantum yield recorded under drought in this genotype. Thus, these interlinked features contribute to adaptive mechanisms of mungbeans which is widely grown in harsh environments exposed to drought and high temperatures.