Induction of DREB2A pathway with repression of E2F, jasmonic acid biosynthetic and photosynthesis pathways in cold acclimation-specific freeze-resistant wheat crown
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Winter wheat lines can achieve cold acclimation (development of tolerance to freezing temperatures) and vernalization (delay in transition from vegetative to reproductive phase) in response to low non-freezing temperatures. To describe cold-acclimation-specific processes and pathways, we utilized cold acclimation transcriptomic data from two lines varying in freeze survival but not vernalization. These lines, designated freeze-resistant (FR) and freeze-susceptible (FS), were the source of crown tissue RNA. Well-annotated differentially expressed genes (p ≤ 0.005 and fold change ≥ 2 in response to 4 weeks cold acclimation) were used for gene ontology and pathway analysis. “Abiotic stimuli” was identified as the most enriched and unique for FR. Unique to FS was “cytoplasmic components.” Pathway analysis revealed the “triacylglycerol degradation” pathway as significantly downregulated and common to both FR and FS. The most enriched of FR pathways was “neighbors of DREB2A,” with the highest positive median fold change. The “13-LOX and 13-HPL” and the “E2F” pathways were enriched in FR only with a negative median fold change. The “jasmonic acid biosynthesis” pathway and four “photosynthetic-associated” pathways were enriched in both FR and FS but with a more negative median fold change in FR than in FS. A pathway unique to FS was “binding partners of LHCA1,” which was enriched only in FS with a significant negative median fold change. We propose that the DREB2A, E2F, jasmonic acid biosynthesis, and photosynthetic pathways are critical for discrimination between cold-acclimated lines varying in freeze survival.
KeywordsGene ontology (GO) Pathway Cold acclimation Vernalization Freeze survival Winter wheat DREB2A Jasmonic acid E2F.
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