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Plant dehydrins: shedding light on structure and expression patterns of dehydrin gene family in barley

Abedini, Raha, GhaneGolmohammadi, Farzan, PishkamRad, Reihaneh, Pourabed, Ehsan, Jafarnezhad, Ahad, Shobbar, Zahra-Sadat, Shahbazi, Maryam
Journal of plant research 2017 v.130 no.4 pp. 747-763
Liliopsida, amino acid sequences, barley, chlorophyll, crops, cultivars, decision support systems, dehydrins, drought, drought tolerance, gene expression, genes, genotype, leaves, microRNA, phosphorylation, phylogeny, plant taxonomy, promoter regions, protective effect, vegetative growth, water stress
Dehydrins, an important group of late embryogenesis abundant proteins, accumulate in response to dehydration stresses and play protective roles under stress conditions. Herein, phylogenetic analysis of the dehydrin family was performed using the protein sequences of 108 dehydrins obtained from 14 plant species based on plant taxonomy and protein subclasses. Sub-cellular localization and phosphorylation sites of these proteins were also predicted. The protein features distinguishing these dehydrins categories were identified using various attribute weighting and decision tree analyses. The results revealed that the presence of the S motif preceding the K motif (YₙSKₙ, SKₙ, and SₙKS) was more evident and the YₙSKₙ subclass was more frequent in monocots. In barley, as one of the most drought-tolerant crops, there are ten members of YₙSKₙ out of 13 HvDhns. In promoter regions, six types of abiotic stress-responsive elements were identified. Regulatory elements in UTR sequences of HvDhns were infrequent while only four miRNA targets were found. Furthermore, physiological parameters and gene expression levels of HvDhns were studied in tolerant (HV1) and susceptible (HV2) cultivars, and in an Iranian tolerant wild barley genotype (Spontaneum; HS) subjected to gradual water stress and after recovery duration at the vegetative stage. The results showed the significant impact of dehydration on dry matter, relative leaf water, chlorophyll contents, and oxidative damages in HV2 compared with the other studied genotypes, suggesting a poor dehydration tolerance, and incapability of recovering after re-watering in HV2. Under severe drought stress, among the 13 HvDhns genes, 5 and 10 were exclusively induced in HV1 and HS, respectively. The gene and protein structures and the expression patterns of HvDhns as well as the physiological data consistently support the role of dehydrins in survival and recovery of barley plants from drought particularly in HS. Overall, this information would be helpful for functional characterization of the Dhn family in plants.