Identification of candidate genes related to rice grain weight under high-temperature stress

Jiang-Lin Liao, Hong-Yu Zhang, Jun-Bao Liu, Ping-An Zhong, Ying-Jin Huang
Plant Science: An International Journal of Experimental Plant Biology 2012, 196: 32-43
The rise of global warming presents a problem for all living organisms, including rice and other staple plants. High temperatures impair rice grain weight by inhibiting the filling of the caryopses during the milky stage. The molecular mechanism behind this process, however, is poorly understood. Identifying candidate genes involved in responses to high-temperature stress may provide a basis for the improvement of heat tolerance in rice. Using paired, genetically similar heat-tolerant and heat-sensitive rice lines as plant materials, cDNA-AFLP analysis revealed a total of 54 transcript derived fragments (TDFs), mainly from the heat-tolerant lines. This clearly indicated variations in gene expression between the two rice lines. BLAST results showed that 28 of the 54 TDFs were homologous sequences. These homologous genes were found to encode proteins involved in signal transduction, oxidation, transcriptional regulation, transport, and metabolism. The functions and differential expression patterns of some important genes are further discussed. High temperature stress may trigger a wide range of changes in gene expression in rice caryopses, in turn affecting functions ranging from signal transduction to cellular metabolism. Forty-five of the 54 TDFs were mapped to rice chromosomes. The genes identified in the present study would make good candidates for further study into the molecular mechanisms underlying rice adaptation to high-temperature stress.

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