The panorama of physiological responses and gene expression of whole plant of maize inbred line YQ7-96 at the three-leaf stage under water deficit and re-watering

  • Hai-Feng Lu
  • Hai-Tao Dong
  • Chang-Bin Sun
  • Dong-Jin Qing
  • Ning Li
  • Zi-Kai Wu
  • Zhi-Qiang Wang
  • You-Zhi LiEmail author
Original Paper


Changes in water potential, growth elongation, photosynthesis of three-leaf-old seedlings of maize inbred line YQ7-96 under water deficit (WD) for 0.5, 1 and 2 h and re-watering (RW) for 24 h were characterized. Gene expression was analyzed using cDNA microarray covering 11,855 maize unigenes. As for whole maize plant, the expression of WD-regulated genes was characterized by up-regulation. The expression of WD-regulated genes was categorized into eight different patterns, respectively, in leaves and roots. Newly found and WD-affected cellular processes were metabolic process, amino acid and derivative metabolic process and cell death. A great number of the analyzed genes were found to be regulated specifically by RW and commonly by both WD and RW, respectively, in leaves. It is therefore concluded that (1) whole maize plant tolerance to WD, as well as growth recovery from WD, depends at least in part on transcriptional coordination between leaves and roots; (2) WD exerts effects on the maize, especially on basal metabolism; (3) WD could probably affect CO2 uptake and partitioning, and transport of fixed carbons; (4) WD could likely influence nuclear activity and genome stability; and (5) maize growth recovery from WD is likely involved in some specific signaling pathways related to RW-specific responsive genes.


Maize Water Deficit Maize Plant Maize Seedling Maize Line 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Anthesis-silking interval


CO2 concentration




Early response


Expressed sequence tag


Gene ontology




Late response


Normalized artifact removed volume


Polymerase chain reaction


Polyethylene glycol


Photosynthetic rate


Quantitative real-time PCR




Stomatal conductance


Transpiration rate




Water deficit


Water potential



This work was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China No. 2011CB100100, the 948 Program from the Ministry of Agriculture of China (2001-205), the Development Program for Guangxi Science and Technology Research (Guikegong 0228019-6), grants from Guangxi Key Laboratory of Subtropical Bioresource Conservation and Utilization (SB0803) and the Key Laboratory of Ministry of Education for Microbial and Plant Genetic Engineering (Director’s grant-06-11). We heartily thank Professor Hans J. Bohnert for suggestions on the manuscript.

Supplementary material

122_2011_1638_MOESM1_ESM.xls (2.8 mb)
Table S1 Functional annotation and categorization of 11,855 arrayed genes (XLS 2871 kb)
122_2011_1638_MOESM2_ESM.doc (60 kb)
Table S2 Primers used in qRT-PCR (DOC 59 kb)
122_2011_1638_MOESM3_ESM.xls (10.3 mb)
Table S3 Information on mapping of EST onto maize chromosomes (XLS 10594 kb)
122_2011_1638_MOESM4_ESM.xls (10 mb)
Table S4 Information on CyberT as well as relative expression folds of a total of 11,855 arrayed genes under WD and RW (XLS 10227 kb)
122_2011_1638_MOESM5_ESM.xls (15.1 mb)
Table S5 Q values of expression of arrayed genes (XLS 15454 kb)
122_2011_1638_MOESM6_ESM.xls (7.5 mb)
Table S6 Information on all WD- and RW-regulated genes (XLS 7665 kb)
122_2011_1638_MOESM7_ESM.xls (9.8 mb)
Table S7 Expression of some interested regulated genes (XLS 9995 kb)
122_2011_1638_MOESM8_ESM.xls (1.7 mb)
Table S8 WD-regulated genes in each expression pattern (XLS 1783 kb)
122_2011_1638_MOESM9_ESM.ppt (371 kb)
Fig. S1 Comparison between gene expression data from qRT-PCR and microarray analyses. The microarray data at each time point were reported with a mean value of ln nARVOLs from 4-spot data. The qRT-PCR data were presented as the mean values of three repeats. RW treatment was conducted after a 2-h WD treatment. RW, re-watering; WD, water deficit. (PPT 371 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hai-Feng Lu
    • 1
  • Hai-Tao Dong
    • 2
  • Chang-Bin Sun
    • 1
  • Dong-Jin Qing
    • 1
  • Ning Li
    • 3
  • Zi-Kai Wu
    • 4
  • Zhi-Qiang Wang
    • 1
  • You-Zhi Li
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Subtropical Agro-bioresources, Key Laboratory of Ministry of Education for Microbial and Plant Genetic Engineering, College of Life Science and TechnologyGuangxi UniversityNanningPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Institute of BiotechnologyZhejiang UniversityHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of BiologyThe Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyHong Kong SARPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Agricultural CollegeGuangxi UniversityNanningPeople’s Republic of China

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