Profiling of mitochondrial transcriptome in germinating wheat embryos and seedlings subjected to cold, salinity and osmotic stresses

Nayden G Naydenov, Sakina Khanam, Maryna Siniauskaya, Chiharu Nakamura
Genes & Genetic Systems 2010, 85 (1): 31-42
Mitochondrial functions are potential targets of abiotic stresses that are major environmental factors limiting plant development and productivity. To evaluate mitochondrial responses to abiotic stresses we studied mitochondrial transcriptome profiles at the early stages of wheat development after imbibition under normal and induced stress conditions. Three stresses given were low temperature (4 degrees C), high salinity (0.2 M NaCl) and high osmotic potential (0.3 M mannitol). All these stresses greatly reduced growth but dramatically increased respiration both via the cytochrome and alternative pathways. Macroarray analysis of the mitochondrial transcriptome revealed that most of the changes in transcript levels were stress specific but groups of genes responded commonly to different stresses. Under 3-days continuous stresses, 13 genes showed low temperature specific responses with either up- or down-regulation, while 14 and 23 genes showed responses specific to high salinity and high osmotic potential, respectively. On the other hand, 13 genes showed common responses, among which cob and ccmFn increased their transcript levels while transcripts of the other genes including nad6, atp4 and atp9 decreased. The differential profiles of mitochondrial transcriptome revealed by the macroarray analysis were verified by the quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR analysis. Taken together, three among five nuclear-encoded mitochondria-targeted genes included in the array showed decreases under the stresses, while MnSOD and AOX increased their transcript amounts. Our results indicated the existence of common and different regulatory mechanisms that can sense different abiotic stresses and modulate both nuclear and mitochondrial gene expression in germinating wheat embryos and seedlings.

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