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Novel conserved segments are associated with differential expression patterns for Pinaceae dehydrins

Perdiguero, Pedro, Barbero, M. Carmen, Cervera, M. Teresa, Soto, Álvaro, Collada, Carmen
Planta 2012 v.236 no.6 pp. 1863-1874
proteins, amino acid motifs, complementary DNA, roots, stems, stress response, gene expression regulation, acclimation, drought, introns, environmental factors, trees, water stress, exons, Angiospermae, databases, Pinus pinaster, cold
Dehydrins are thought to play an essential role in the response, acclimation and tolerance to different abiotic stresses, such as cold and drought. These proteins have been classified into five groups according to the presence of conserved and repeated motifs in their amino acid sequence. Due to their putative functions in the response to stress, dehydrins have been often used as candidate genes in studies on population variability and local adaptation to environmental conditions. However, little is still known regarding the differential role played by such groups or the mechanism underlying their function. Based on the sequences corresponding to dehydrins available in public databases we have isolated eight different dehydrins from cDNA of Pinus pinaster. We have obtained also their genomic sequences and identified their intron/exon structure. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis of their expression pattern in needles, stems and roots during a severe and prolonged drought stress, similar to the ones trees must face in nature, is also reported. Additionally, we have identified two amino acid motifs highly conserved and repeated in Pinaceae dehydrins and absent in angiosperms, presumably related to the divergent expression profiles observed.