Title:Coordinated mechanisms of leaves and roots in response to drought stress underlying full-length transcriptome profiling in Vicia sativa L.
Authors:Xueyang Min, Xiaoshan Lin, Boniface NDAYAMBAZA, Yanrong Wang* and Wenxian Liu*
Journal:BMC Plant Biology
Abstract:Common vetch (Vicia sativa L.) is an important self-pollinating annual forage legume and is of interest for drought prone regions as a protein source to feed livestock and human consumption. However, the development and production of common vetch are negatively affected by drought stress. Plants have evolved common or distinct metabolic pathways between the aboveground and underground in response to drought stress. Little is known regarding the coordinated response of aboveground and underground tissues of common vetch to drought stress. Our results showed that a total of 30,427 full-length transcripts were identified in 12 samples, with an average length of 2278.89 bp. Global transcriptional profiles of the above 12 samples were then analysed via Illumina-Seq. A total of 3464 and 3062 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in the leaves and roots, respectively. Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment analyses identified that the dehydrin genes and Δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthase were induced for the biosynthesis of proline and water conservation. The Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analysis results indicated that the DEGs were significantly enriched in hormone signal transduction, starch and sucrose metabolism, and arginine and proline metabolism, and various drought response candidate genes were also identified. Abscisic acid (ABA; the AREB/ABF-SnRK2 pathway) regulates the activity of AMY3 and BAM1 to induce starch degradation in leaves and increase carbon export to roots, which may be associated with the drought stress responses in common vetch. Among the co-induced transcription factors (TFs), AREB/ABF, bHLH, MYB, WRKY, and AP2/ERF had divergent expression patterns and may be key in the crosstalk between leaves and roots during adaption to drought stress. In transgenic yeast, the overexpression of four TFs increased yeast tolerance to osmotic stresses. The multipronged approach identified in the leaves and roots broadens our understanding of the coordinated mechanisms of drought response in common vetch, and further provides targets to improve drought resistance through genetic engineering.