Comparative RNA-seq analysis of the drought-sensitive lentil (Lens culinaris) root and leaf under short- and long-term water deficits
Drought stress is one of the main environmental factors that affects growth and productivity of crop plants, including lentil. To gain insights into the genome-wide transcriptional regulation in lentil root and leaf under short- and long-term drought conditions, we performed RNA-seq on a drought-sensitive lentil cultivar (Lens culinaris Medik. cv. Sultan). After establishing drought conditions, lentil samples were subjected to de novo RNA-seq-based transcriptome analysis. The 207,076 gene transcripts were successfully constructed by de novo assembly from the sequences obtained from root, leaf, and stems. Differentially expressed gene (DEG) analysis on these transcripts indicated that period of drought stress had a greater impact on the transcriptional regulation in lentil root. The numbers of DEGs were 2915 under short-term drought stress while the numbers of DEGs were increased to 18,327 under long-term drought stress condition in the root. Further, Gene Ontology analysis revealed that the following biological processes were differentially regulated in response to long-term drought stress: protein phosphorylation, embryo development seed dormancy, DNA replication, and maintenance of root meristem identity. Additionally, DEGs, which play a role in circadian rhythm and photoreception, were downregulated suggesting that drought stress has a negative effect on the internal oscillators which may have detrimental consequences on plant growth and survival. Collectively, this study provides a detailed comparative transcriptome response of drought-sensitive lentil strain under short- and long-term drought conditions in root and leaf. Our finding suggests that not only the regulation of genes in leaves is important but also genes regulated in roots are important and need to be considered for improving drought tolerance in lentil.
KeywordsLentil Drought stress Roots Leaf De novo RNA-seq
We would like to thank the Southeastern Anatolia Agricultural Research Institute providing us the seed of Lens culinaris Medik. cv. Sultan.
HM and MT carried out the experiments. MT performed the analysis. MT, HM, and GC contributed in writing the manuscript. IHK designed the experiments and wrote the manuscript.
This work was supported by an Istanbul Development Agency grant (ISTKA-TR/14/EVK/0039) to IHK, and by an Istanbul University BAP project (21207, 22583) to GC and IHK.
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