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Genotypic variation in 9-Cis-Epoxycarotenoid Dioxygenase3 gene expression and abscisic acid accumulation in relation to drought tolerance of Hevea brasiliensis

Abstract

Abscisic acid (ABA) is a stress-related plant hormone, which is reported to confer drought tolerance. A key enzyme in ABA biosynthesis is 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase. In this study, changes in morphological, physiological response, HbNCED3, and ABA accumulation of RRIM 623 and PB 5/51 rubber clones were observed at different time points of water deficit conditions (0, 3, 5, 7, and 9 days of withholding water). During water deficit, the relative water content (RWC), photosynthetic rate (Pn), and stomatal conductance (Gs) decreased, whereas the electro leakage (EL) increased. The magnitudes of the changes in these parameters were greater for PB 5/51 than for RRIM 623. Therefore, RRIM 623 was designated as representative of drought-tolerant clone and PB 5/51 as a drought-sensitive clone. The HbNCED3 transcription level of RRIM 623 showed lower expression compared with that of PB 5/51, which corresponded to the accumulation of ABA. RRIM 623 accumulated less ABA than PB 5/51. The ABA in RRIM 623 gradually increased, especially on the 7th day of withholding water, whereas that in PB 5/51 rapidly increased during the early periods of drought conditions. Additionally, the sensitivity of stomatal response to ABA showed that RRIM 623 had a higher sensitivity than PB 5/51. These results demonstrate that the drought-tolerant rubber clone, RRIM 623, was characterized by lower ABA accumulation during drought stress than the drought-sensitive clone, PB 5/51. The drought tolerance mechanism of the RRIM 623 might be associated with stomatal sensitivity to ABA accumulation under drought stress.

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Acknowledgements

This research was granted by the Center of Excellence on Agricultural Biotechnology, Office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (AG-BIO/MHESI), the Center of Excellence in Agricultural and Natural Resources Biotechnology (CoE-ANRB): phase 3, Faculty of Natural Resources, Prince of Songkla University. This research was also supported by Prince of Songkla University (Grant no. NAT600522S). The authors gratefully acknowledge the Publication Clinic, Research and Development Office, Prince of Songkla University, for technical comments and improving the manuscript.

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KN was responsible for design the experiments, analyzed the data and wrote the manuscript. NW performed the experiment, analysis the data and edited the manuscript. CS and OK participated in the experiment. CN supervised the experiment and reviewed the manuscript. TR were responsible for planning and edited the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Korakot Nakkanong.

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Woraathasin, N., Nualsri, C., Sutjit, C. et al. Genotypic variation in 9-Cis-Epoxycarotenoid Dioxygenase3 gene expression and abscisic acid accumulation in relation to drought tolerance of Hevea brasiliensis. Physiol Mol Biol Plants 27, 1513–1522 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12298-021-01024-z

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Keywords

  • Hevea brasiliensis
  • 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase3
  • Abscisic acid
  • Stomatal sensitivity
  • Drought stress