Transcriptomic responses to aluminum stress in roots of Arabidopsis thaliana

  • Manjeet KumariEmail author
  • Gregory J. Taylor
  • Michael K. Deyholos
Original Paper


To help characterize the cellular mechanisms underlying the toxicity of Al to plants, we present the first large-scale, transcriptomic analysis of root responses to Al, using a microarray representing approximately 93% of the predicted genes in the genome of Arabidopsis. More transcripts were responsive to Al (25 μM) during long (48 h, 1,114 genes), as compared to short (6 h, 401 genes) exposures, which contrasts with previous microarray analyses of plant responses to other types of abiotic stress. Exposure to Al triggered changes in the transcript levels for several genes related to oxidative stress pathway, membrane transporters, cell wall, energy, and polysaccharide metabolism. Interestingly, lack of abundance of transcripts encoding TCA cycle enzymes, except for malate dehydrogenase, suggested that synthesis of organic anions in response to Al may not be transcriptionally regulated. Al exposures induced differential abundance of transcripts for several ribosomal proteins, peptidases and protein phosphatases mostly after 48 h. We also detected increased abundance of transcripts for several membrane receptor kinases and non-membrane calcium response kinases, which could play a role in transmission of Al-stress signals. Among Al responsive transcription factors, the most predominant families identified were AP2/EREBP, MYB and bHLH. Further, we studied the kinetics of Al stress responses for class III peroxidases using Q-RT-PCR. Our results indicated that Al triggered dynamic changes in transcript abundance of various peroxidases within 1 h. The results of this screen contribute to the identification of candidate genes for the generation of Al-tolerant transgenic plants.


Metal Abiotic Stress Microarray Genomic Hydroponic 



This research was funded by NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council) Discovery Grant and by Genome Canada.

Supplementary material

438_2007_316_MOESM1_ESM.xls (6.1 mb)
Supplemental Table 1. Normalized signal intensity values obtained from eight replicate microarrays at each of 6h and 48h treatment durations. UID: unique identifier specific to this array; AGI: Arabidopsis Genome Initiative gene identified. The suffix of each column header contains the character ‘A’ or ‘B’, where ‘A’ is data derived from control tissues, and ‘B’ is derived from treated tissues (xls 6261 KB)
438_2007_316_MOESM2_ESM.xls (22 kb)
Supplemental Table 2. Validation of microarray with QRT PCR. Selected genes and corrosponding log2 fold change values from microarrays and QRT-PCR are shown here. se: standard error (xls 22 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manjeet Kumari
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gregory J. Taylor
    • 1
  • Michael K. Deyholos
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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