Morpho-physiological and transcriptome profiling reveal novel zinc deficiency-responsive genes in rice
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Intensive farming has depleted the soil zinc (Zn) availability resulting in decreased crop productivity. Here, we attempt to understand the Zn deficiency response in rice through temporal transcriptome analysis. For this, rice seedlings were raised under Zn-deficient conditions up to 4 weeks followed by Zn re-supply for 3 days. Zn-deficient plants developed characteristic deficiency symptoms such as leaf bronzing, decrease in biomass, total chlorophyll, PSII efficiency, decreased carbonic anhydrase activity and increased ROS production. Interestingly, severe alterations in root system architecture were also observed. Comprehensive transcriptome analyses of rice seedlings were carried out after 2 (DEF2W) and 4 weeks (DEF4W) of Zn deficiency with respect to transcriptome profiles of corresponding Zn sufficient conditions (SUF2W, SUF4W). Additionally, to detect the potential Zn-responsive genes, transcriptome profile of Zn-recovered seedlings was compared with DEF4W. All differentially expressed Zn-responsive genes were categorized into early and late Zn deficiency response, and a set of 77 genes, induced and repressed on Zn deficiency and re-supply, respectively, was identified. These genes could be used as low Zn-responsive marker genes. Further, genes involved in membrane transport, phytosiderophore activity and organic acid biosynthesis showed high differential expression. Additionally, the present study unravelled several genes putatively associated with alterations in root system architecture under Zn deficiency and provides novel insights into the interpretation of morpho-physiological, biochemical and molecular regulation of zinc deficiency responses in rice.
KeywordsHMA Reactive oxygen species Root Transcriptome Zinc deficiency
Our research is funded by core grant of NIPGR. H.S. acknowledges the ‘short-term research fellowship’ from NIPGR, DBT. B.T. acknowledges the DBT for financial support, M.P. thanks the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research for junior and senior research fellowships.
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