Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 130, Issue 4, pp 747–763 | Cite as

Plant dehydrins: shedding light on structure and expression patterns of dehydrin gene family in barley

  • Raha Abedini
  • Farzan GhaneGolmohammadi
  • Reihaneh PishkamRad
  • Ehsan Pourabed
  • Ahad Jafarnezhad
  • Zahra-Sadat ShobbarEmail author
  • Maryam ShahbaziEmail author
Regular Paper


Dehydrins, an important group of late embryogenesis abundant proteins, accumulate in response to dehydration stresses and play protective roles under stress conditions. Herein, phylogenetic analysis of the dehydrin family was performed using the protein sequences of 108 dehydrins obtained from 14 plant species based on plant taxonomy and protein subclasses. Sub-cellular localization and phosphorylation sites of these proteins were also predicted. The protein features distinguishing these dehydrins categories were identified using various attribute weighting and decision tree analyses. The results revealed that the presence of the S motif preceding the K motif (YnSKn, SKn, and SnKS) was more evident and the YnSKn subclass was more frequent in monocots. In barley, as one of the most drought-tolerant crops, there are ten members of YnSKn out of 13 HvDhns. In promoter regions, six types of abiotic stress-responsive elements were identified. Regulatory elements in UTR sequences of HvDhns were infrequent while only four miRNA targets were found. Furthermore, physiological parameters and gene expression levels of HvDhns were studied in tolerant (HV1) and susceptible (HV2) cultivars, and in an Iranian tolerant wild barley genotype (Spontaneum; HS) subjected to gradual water stress and after recovery duration at the vegetative stage. The results showed the significant impact of dehydration on dry matter, relative leaf water, chlorophyll contents, and oxidative damages in HV2 compared with the other studied genotypes, suggesting a poor dehydration tolerance, and incapability of recovering after re-watering in HV2. Under severe drought stress, among the 13 HvDhns genes, 5 and 10 were exclusively induced in HV1 and HS, respectively. The gene and protein structures and the expression patterns of HvDhns as well as the physiological data consistently support the role of dehydrins in survival and recovery of barley plants from drought particularly in HS. Overall, this information would be helpful for functional characterization of the Dhn family in plants.


Barley In silico analysis Dehydrin Drought Gene expression 



Coding sequence




Dry weight


Fresh weight


Hordeum vulgare L. cv Yousef


Hordeum vulgare L. cv Morocco 9–75


Hordeum vulgare L. ssp. Spontaneum


Internal ribosome entry site


Late embryogenesis abundant


Leaf temperature




Nuclear localization signals


Relative water content


Special products analysis division


Transcription factor binding sites


Transcription start site


Turgid weights


Untranslated region


Water holding capacity



This research was supported by a grant awarded by the Agriculture Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran, (ABRII). We would like to appreciate Dr. Stefania Grando, (ICARDA) who kindly provided the Morocco 9–75 seeds. Moreover, the authors are grateful to Dr. HamidReza Nikkhah (SPII) and Dr. Mehdi Zahravi (SPII) for providing the spring barley cv Yousef and Spantaneum seeds, respectively.

Author contributions

Most experiments and data analyses were performed by R. Abedini and F. GhaneGolmohammadi. Phylogentic analysis and protein feature analysis were assisted by E. Pourabed and A. Jafarneghad, respectively. R. PishkamRad contributed to biochemical analysis. M. Shahbazi and Z.S. Shaobbar were responsible for overall conceptualization and supervision of the experiments and worked on data processing and manuscript preparation.

Supplementary material

10265_2017_941_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (2.1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 2152 KB)


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran (ABRII), Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Seed and Plant Improvement Institutes CampusKarajIran
  2. 2.Department of Integrated Biosciences, Graduate School of Frontier SciencesUniversity of TokyoKashiwaJapan

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