Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 85, Issue 1, pp 73–90 | Cite as

Transcriptome and physiological analyses reveal that AM1 as an ABA-mimicking ligand improves drought resistance in Brassica napus

  • Jun-Lan Xiong
  • Lu-Lu Dai
  • Ni Ma
  • Chun-Lei Zhang
Original paper


Abscisic acid (ABA) is the most important stress hormone in the regulation of plant adaptation to drought. Owing to the chemical instability and rapid catabolism of ABA, ABA mimic 1 (AM1) is frequently applied to enhance drought resistance in plants, but the molecular mechanisms governed by AM1 on improving drought resistance in Brassica napus are not entirely understood. To investigate the effect of AM1 on drought resistance at the physiological and molecular levels, exogenous ABA and AM1 were applied to the leaves of two B. napus genotypes (Q2 and Qinyou 8) given progressive drought stress. The results showed that the leaves of 50 µM ABA- and AM1-treated plants shared over 60% differential expressed genes and 90% of the enriched functional pathways in Qinyou 8 under drought. AM1 affected the expression of the genes involved in ABA signaling; they down-regulated pyrabactin resistance/PYR1-like (PYR/PYLs), up-regulated type 2C protein phosphatases (PP2Cs), partially up-regulated sucrose non-fermenting 1-related protein kinase 2s (SnRK2s), and down-regulated ABA-responsive element (ABRE)-binding protein/ABRE-binding factors (AREB/ABFs). Additionally, AM1 treatment repressed the expression of photosynthesis-related genes, those mainly associated with the light reaction process. Moreover, AM1 decreased the stomatal conductance, the net photosynthetic rate, and the transpiration rate, but increased the relative water content in leaves and increased survival rates of two genotypes under drought stress. Our findings suggest that AM1 has a potential to improve drought resistance in B. napus by triggering molecular and physiological responses to reduce water loss and impair growth, leading to increased survival rates.


AM1 Transcriptome Drought resistance ABA signaling pathway Photosynthesis Survival rate 



Abscisic acid


ABA mimc1


ABA-responsive element (ABRE)-binding protein/ABRE-binding factors


Differentially expression genes


Field capacity


Gene ontology


Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes


Late-embryogenesis abundant


Type 2C protein phosphatase


Photosystem II


Photosystem I


Pyrabactin resistance 1




RNA sequencing


Relative water content


Sucrose non-fermenting 1-related protein kinase 2







This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 31571619 and 3151101074). We thanked Prof. Jiankang Zhu from Shanghai Center for Plant Stress Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences to give us chemical (AM1) support. We also thanked Dr. Naeem MS for his assistance in improving the English of the manuscript.

Author Contributions

CLZ designed the experiment. JLX, LLD, and NM conducted the experiment and performed data analysis. JLX wrote the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to this work.

Supplementary material

10725_2018_374_MOESM1_ESM.tif (151 kb)
Fig. S1 Chemical structures of ABA (a) and AM1 (b). (TIF 150 KB)
10725_2018_374_MOESM2_ESM.tif (519 kb)
Fig. S2 The MS/MS spectrum of ABA in different chemical (ABA and AM1) treatments in two B. napus genotypes (Q2 and Qinyou 8) under well-watered (WW) and water-stressed (WS) conditions. (TIF 519 KB)
10725_2018_374_MOESM3_ESM.tif (417 kb)
Fig. S3 Validation of the expression levels of novel genes using qRT-PCR. (TIF 417 KB)
10725_2018_374_MOESM4_ESM.tif (459 kb)
Fig. S4 Gene Ontology (GO) classification of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between the well-watered (WW) and the water-stressed (WS) conditions in B. napus genotype Qinyou 8. The most enriched 30 GO terms for down- and up-regulated genes between WW and WS treatment in Qinyou 8 (a, b) were separately presented. ‘*’ indicated that GO terms were significantly enriched at P<0.05, while ‘n.s.’ showed no significant difference. (TIF 459 KB)
10725_2018_374_MOESM5_ESM.tif (392 kb)
Fig. S5 KEGG pathway analysis of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between the well-watered (WW) and the water-stressed (WS) conditions in B. napus genotype (Qinyou 8). The most highly enriched 20 KEGG pathways for the down- and up-regulated genes between WW and WS treatment in Qinyou 8 (a, b) were separately presented. (TIF 391 KB)
10725_2018_374_MOESM6_ESM.tif (739 kb)
Fig. S6 KEGG pathway analysis of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) affected by exogenous ABA and AM1 treatments in B. napus genotype Qinyou 8 in the water-stressed (WS) treatment twelve hours after first being applied with chemicals. The most highly enriched 20 KEGG pathways for the down- and up-regulated genes between the ABA treatment and the control (a, b), or between the AM1 treatment and the control (c, d) were separately presented. (TIF 739 KB)
10725_2018_374_MOESM7_ESM.docx (21 kb)
Table S1 RNA amount obtained from each treatment for RNA-seq analysis. Table S2 List of primers for quantitative real-time PCR. Table S3 Summary of read data and mapping obtained from each sample. (DOCX 21 KB)
10725_2018_374_MOESM8_ESM.xlsx (37 kb)
DataSheet S1 List of differentially expressed genes mentioned in the text. (XLSX 36 KB)
10725_2018_374_MOESM9_ESM.xlsx (1.7 mb)
DataSheet S2 List of all differentially expressed genes between different treatments. (XLSX 1699 KB)
10725_2018_374_MOESM10_ESM.xlsx (1.5 mb)
DataSheet S3 List of GO terms between different treatments. (XLSX 1547 KB)
10725_2018_374_MOESM11_ESM.xlsx (181 kb)
DataSheet S4 List of KEGG pathways between different treatments. (XLSX 180 KB)


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jun-Lan Xiong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lu-Lu Dai
    • 3
  • Ni Ma
    • 1
  • Chun-Lei Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Oilcrops Research InstituteChinese Academy of Agricultural ScienceWuhanChina
  2. 2.School of Life ScienceLanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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