Acute salt stress differentially modulates nitrate reductase expression in contrasting salt responsive rice cultivars
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Salt stress response includes alteration in the activity of various important enzymes in plants. Nitrate reductase (NR) is one of the known enzyme affected by salt stress. In this study, contrasting salt responsive cultivars (CVS) (IR64-sensitive and CSR 36-tolerant) were considered to study the regulation of NR genes under salt stress conditions. Using Arabidopsis genes Nia1 and Nia2, three different NR genes were identified in rice and their expression study was conducted. Under stress condition, salt-sensitive CVS (IR64) showed a decrease in NR activity under in vitro and in vivo conditions, whereas tolerant CVS showed an increase in NR activity. Different trends for NR activity in contrasting genotype are explained by the variable number of GATA element in the upstream region of the NR gene. This variation of NR activity in contrasting CVS further co-relates with the transcript level of NR genes. The transcript level of three different NR genes also evidenced the effect of CREs in gene regulation. Promoter (1-kb upstream region) of different NR genes contained different abiotic stress-responsive CREs, which explain the differential behavior of these genes towards the abiotic stress. Overall, this study concludes the role of CREs in the regulation of NR gene and indicates the importance of transcriptional control of NR activity under stress condition. This is the first type of report that highlights the role of the regulatory mechanism of NR genes under salt stress condition.
KeywordsCis-regulatory elements Gene regulation Nitrate reductase Rice Salinity stress
This research work is financially supported by a fellowship grant from the University Grant Commission-Basic Scientific Research (UGC BSR) (F.25-1/2013-14 (BSR)/7-371/2012) to Ms. Pooja Rohilla and the University Grant Commission- Special Assistance Programme (UGC-SAP) (F.20/2012(SAP-II)) grant from UGC, New Delhi. Authors are also thankful to Dr. Nishat Passricha, ICGEB, New Delhi, for the help in the conducting of qPCR experiments.
RP has contributed to the idea and designed the experiments. YJP is a mentor and edited the manuscript. Both authors thoroughly read and approved the manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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