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|Title:||CHARACTERIZATION OF DROUGHT RESPONSE STRATEGIES IN EUTREMA SALSUGINEUM USING COMPARATIVE PHYSIOLOGY AND TRANSCRIPTOME SEQUENCING|
|Keywords:||Water deficits;Eutrema salsugineum;Drought response strategies;Transcriptome sequencing|
|Abstract:||The drought response of the extremophile Eutrema salsugineum (Thellungiella salsuginea) was studied using an experimental protocol involving two progressive drought exposures separated by a recovery period. Accessions from the Yukon Territory, Canada, and Shandong Province, China, were distinguished with respect to their responses to the initial drought, their recovery from wilting, and their response to a subsequent drought following recovery. Eutrema cauline leaves and rosettes were sampled at different stages of the drought treatment for water status and biomass measurements and this information guided tissue selection for transcriptome sequencing by RNA-Seq. For Yukon plants, the initial drought led to a 46% reduction in stomatal conductance (from 122.3 to 66.3 mol m-2s-1) and 25% reduction in rosette water loss relative to unstressed control plants, evidence of drought avoidance to conserve water. Yukon leaf solute potentials decreased to -1.83 MPa compared to -1.54 MPa for Shandong leaves indicating that more solutes accumulated in Yukon leaves in response to drought. Upon wilting, Yukon plants re-established turgor at significantly lower leaf solute potentials than the level for well-watered Yukon plants consistent with osmotic adjustment. In contrast, leaf solute potentials in re-watered Shandong plants returned to pre-drought levels (-1.6 MPa). During the second drought exposure, leaf water content and specific leaf area measurements were significantly higher in Yukon plants compared to plants experiencing the initial drought and wilting was delayed relative to Shandong plants. At the transcriptional level, the initial drought exposure resulted in over 2000 differentially expressed genes in leaves of Yukon plants compared to only two in Shandong plants. Following exposure to a second drought only 45 genes were differentially expressed in leaves of Yukon plants while Shandong plants underwent substantial transcriptional re-programming with nearly 500 genes showing differential expression. Studies of Eutrema grown under controlled conditions were supplemented by physiological measurements made using Eutrema plants found on saline soils in the Yukon. The average stomatal conductance for field plants was 84.8 mol m-2s-1, a rate similar to that of drought-treated Yukon plants in the cabinet. Leaf solute potentials of field plants ranged from -2.0 MPa to -3.5 MPa. RT-qPCR showed the relative expression of four dehydrin-encoding genes, EsRAB18, EsRD22, EsRD29A, and EsERD1, was high in the field plants and levels of expression were comparable to drought-stressed cabinet plants. In summary, Eutrema salsugineum has a naturally high tolerance to water deficits. Between the two accessions studied, Yukon plants have a superior capacity to withstand drought relative to Shandong plants. The heightened capacity for Yukon plants to recover from drought and tolerate repeated drought exposures makes this accession a particularly valuable model for studying many mechanisms underlying innate and inducible plant tolerance to drought.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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|Macleod Thesis final corrected July 28 submitted to SGS.pdf||M MacLeod PHD Thesis||7.05 MB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
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