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Identification and comparative analysis of diffential gene expression in soybean leaf tissue under drought and flooding stress revealed by RNA-Seq

Wei Chen, Qiuming Yao, Gunvant B. Patil, Gaurav Agarwal, Rupesh K. Deshmukh, Li Lin, Biao Wang, Yongqin Wang, Silvas J. Prince, Li Song, Dong Xu, Younqiang C. An, Babu Valliyodan, Rajeev K. Varshney, Henry T. Nguyen
Frontiers in plant science 2016 v.7 pp. 1044
Glycine max, agricultural economics, biochemical pathways, cell walls, chlorophyll, crop yield, drought, flooded conditions, gene expression, gene expression regulation, genes, leaves, photosynthesis, sequence analysis, soybeans, starch, sugar content, transcription factors, transcriptome, water stress
Soybean is the second largest crop in the US. Its yield directly impacts US agricultural economics. Drought and flooding are two major causes for soybean yield loss. To better understand their underlying molecular regulatory mechanisms, we sequenced the transcriptomes of soybean grown in drought and flooding conditions. A total of 2,769 and 3,589 genes were differentially regulated by drought and flooding treatments, respectively. We observed that a number of bHLH, ERF, MYB, NAC, and WRKY transcription factor genes were highly regulated by drought and flooding treatments, suggesting their potential role in regulating soybean response to drought and flooding. The genes in photosynthesis and chlorophyll synthesis were preferentially down-regulated by both stresses, and suggesting a possibility that these extreme stress conditions may reduce plant metabolic activities, and therefore potentially prolong their survival in their stress condition. Interestingly, a number of genes in the cell wall synthesis pathway were up-regulated under drought stress, but down-regulated under flooding stress. Genes in starch and sugar metabolic pathways were also preferentially regulated by the stress treatments. Changes of cell wall precursors and starch/sugar content are both likely to serve as adaptive mechanisms for soybean survival under stress conditions.