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Differential gene expression in soybean during water deficit


Abstract : Tolerance to drought in plants is not a simple trait, but rather a complex of mechanisms working in combination to avoid or to tolerate water deficit. Genotypes that differ in tolerance to water deficit would have qualitative and quantitative differences in gene expression when submitted to periods of drought. Three soybean cultivars (BR-4, BR-16 and MG/BR-46 Conquista) with contrasting responses to water deficit stress were studied by using the "Differential Display" (DD) technique to identify and isolate genes which may differ among these cultivars. A total of 84 cDNA fragments differentially displayed were detected. These fragments were extracted from the DD gels and reamplified. Third-five reamplified fragments were cloned in pGEM-T vectors. From these, 28 clones were able to be sequenced. Search of gene bank databases showed, for example, that two cDNA clones, A1B2-1 and A1B1-8 have high homology with a Transcription Activator found in Arabidopsis thaliana and a NADH Dehydrogenase ND4L subunit found in Spinacia oleracea, respectively. The clone A1B2-1 was found differentially expressed only in roots. Clone A1B1-8, on the other hand, was expressed only in a drought tolerant cultivar and only during a water deficit situation. The results of this work allowed a screening of part of the expressed genes during a drought situation in soybean. Now the study of these expressed genes can be deepened to confirm these results and to help the development of new drought tolerant soybean genotypes.

Keywords : mRNA; Differential Display; drought; gene expression; NADH Dehydrogenase; Transcription Activator.

Rev. Bras. Fisiol. Veg., 2001, vol.13, no.2, p.168-184. Full text available in Portuguese.

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