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Expression analysis of dehydrin multigene family across tolerant and susceptible barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) genotypes in response to terminal drought stress

Karami, Amin, Shahbazi, Maryam, Niknam, Vahid, Shobbar, Zahra Sadat, Tafreshi, Razieh Sarabadani, Abedini, Raha, Mabood, Hasan Ebrahimzadeh
Acta physiologiae plantarum 2013 v.35 no.7 pp. 2289-2297
Hordeum vulgare, barley, biomass, cell membranes, drought, gene expression, genotype, grain yield, multigene family, plant proteins, stomatal conductance, water stress
Dehydrins are one of the characteristic families of plant proteins that usually accumulate in response to drought. In the present study, gene expressions of dehydrin multigene family (13 genes) were examined in flag leaves of tolerant (Yousef) and susceptible (Moroco) barley varieties under terminal drought to characterize the involvement of dehydrins in the adaptive processes. The stomatal conductance, RWC, and Chl a, b contents had more reduction in Moroco than the Yousef which has more elevated osmotic adjustment. Drought stress increased significantly MDA and electrolyte leakage levels, but greater in Moroco, indicating a poor protection of cell and cytoplasmic membrane in this variety. Yousef variety had no reduction in grain yield under drought condition. Five genes (Dhn1, Dhn3, Dhn5, Dhn7 and Dhn9) were exclusively induced in Yousef under drought stress. In the stress condition, relative gene expression of Dhn3, Dhn9 had the direct correlations (P < 0.05) with Chl a, b contents, osmotic adjustment, stomatal conductance, plant biomass and grain yield, and the negative correlations (P < 0.05) with MDA and electrolyte leakage levels. The results supported the impending functional roles of dehydrin Kₙand particularly YₙSKₙtypes in dehydration tolerance of barley during the reproductive stage.