Transcription factors expressed in soybean roots under drought stress

S S Pereira, F C M Guimarães, J F C Carvalho, R Stolf-Moreira, M C N Oliveira, A A P Rolla, J R B Farias, N Neumaier, A L Nepomuceno
Genetics and Molecular Research: GMR 2011, 10 (4): 3689-701
To gain insight into stress-responsive gene regulation in soybean plants, we identified consensus sequences that could categorize the transcription factors MYBJ7, BZIP50, C2H2, and NAC2 as members of the gene families myb, bzip, c2h2, and nac, respectively. We also investigated the evolutionary relationship of these transcription factors and analyzed their expression levels under drought stress. The NCBI software was used to find the predicted amino acid sequences of the transcription factors, and the Clustal X software was used to align soybean and other plant species sequences. Phylogenetic trees were built using the Mega 4.1 software by neighbor joining and the degree of confidence test by Bootstrap. Expression level studies were carried out using hydroponic culture; the experiments were designed in completely randomized blocks with three repetitions. The blocks consisted of two genotypes, MG/BR46 Conquista (drought-tolerant) and BR16 (drought-sensitive) and the treatments consisted of increasingly long dehydration periods (0, 25, 50, 75, and 100 min). The transcription factors presented domains and/or conserved regions that characterized them as belonging to the bzip, c2h2, myb, and nac families. Based on the phylogenetic trees, it was found that the myb, bzip and nac genes are closely related to myb78, bzip48 and nac2 of soybean and that c2h2 is closely related to c2h2 of Brassica napus. Expression of all genes was in general increased under drought stress in both genotypes. Major differences between genotypes were due to the lowering of the expression of the mybj7 and c2h2 genes in the drought-tolerant variety at some times. Over-expression or silencing of some of these genes has the potential to increase stress tolerance.

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