, Volume 228, Issue 1, pp 151–166 | Cite as

Transcriptome profiling identified novel genes associated with aluminum toxicity, resistance and tolerance in Medicago truncatula

  • Divya Chandran
  • Natasha Sharopova
  • Sergey Ivashuta
  • J. Stephen Gantt
  • Kathryn A. VandenBosch
  • Deborah A. SamacEmail author
Original Article


Oligonucleotide microarrays corresponding to over 16,000 genes were used to analyze changes in transcript accumulation in root tips of the Al-sensitive Medicago truncatula cultivar Jemalong genotype A17 in response to Al treatment. Out of 2,782 genes with significant changes in transcript accumulation, 324 genes were up-regulated and 267 genes were down-regulated at least twofold by Al. Up-regulated genes were enriched in transcripts involved in cell-wall modification and abiotic and biotic stress responses while down-regulated genes were enriched in transcripts involved in primary metabolism, secondary metabolism, protein synthesis and processing, and the cell cycle. Known markers of Al-induced gene expression including genes associated with oxidative stress and cell wall stiffening were differentially regulated in this study. Transcript profiling identified novel genes associated with processes involved in Al toxicity including cell wall modification, cell cycle arrest and ethylene production. Novel genes potentially associated with Al resistance and tolerance in M. truncatula including organic acid transporters, cell wall loosening enzymes, Ca2+ homeostasis maintaining genes, and Al-binding were also identified. In addition, expression analysis of nine genes in the mature regions of the root revealed that Al-induced gene expression in these regions may play a role in Al tolerance. Finally, interfering RNA-induced silencing of two Al-induced genes, pectin acetylesterase and annexin, in A17 hairy roots slightly increased the sensitivity of A17 to Al suggesting that these genes may play a role in Al resistance.


Aluminum toxicity Barrel medic Legume Microarray Organic acid RNA interference 







Array-ready oligo set


Cellulose microfibrils


COBRA-like gene


Cell wall


False discovery rate


Gene ontology


Multidrug and toxin efflux


Pectin acetylesterase


Programmed cell death




Plasma membrane


Pectin methylesterase




Quantitative real-time PCR


Interfering RNA


Reactive oxygen species


Tentative consensus



This work was supported by the National Science Foundation Plant Genome Project (award no. 0110206) and USDA-ARS. We thank Dr. Susan C. Miyasaka (University of Hawaii) for providing us with the media composition for Al-plate assays, Dr. David Galbraith (University of Arizona) for printing of microarrays, Dr. Dasharath P. Lohar (University of Minnesota) for microarray slide scanning and Dr. Judy Schnurr for assistance with RNA blots. We acknowledge support from the University of Minnesota Super Computing Institute for data analysis. This paper is a joint contribution from the Plant Science Research Unit, USDA, Agricultural Research Service and the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Mention of a trademark, proprietary product or vendor does not constitute a guarantee or warranty of the product by the USDA, and it does not imply its approval to the exclusion of other products and vendors that might also be suitable.

Supplementary material

425_2008_726_MOESM1_ESM.doc (123 kb)
(DOC 123 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Divya Chandran
    • 1
  • Natasha Sharopova
    • 1
  • Sergey Ivashuta
    • 1
  • J. Stephen Gantt
    • 1
    • 3
  • Kathryn A. VandenBosch
    • 1
    • 3
  • Deborah A. Samac
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Plant BiologyUniversity of MinnesotaSt PaulUSA
  2. 2.USDA-ARS-Plant Science Research UnitSt PaulUSA
  3. 3.Center for Microbial and Plant GenomicsUniversity of MinnesotaSt PaulUSA
  4. 4.Department of Plant PathologyUniversity of MinnesotaSt PaulUSA

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