Generation of expressed sequence tags under cadmium stress for gene discovery and development of molecular markers in chickpea

Rashmi Gaur, Sabhyata Bhatia, Meetu Gupta
Protoplasma 2014, 251 (4): 955-72
Chickpea is the world's third most important legume crop and belongs to Fabaceae family but suffered from severe yield loss due to various biotic and abiotic stresses. Development of modern genomic tools such as molecular markers and identification of resistant genes associated with these stresses facilitate improvement in chickpea breeding towards abiotic stress tolerance. In this study, 1597 high-quality expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were generated from a cDNA library of variety Pusa 1105 root tissue after cadmium (Cd) treatment. Assembly of ESTs resulted in a total of 914 unigenes of which putative homology was obtained for 38.8 % of unigenes after BLASTX search. In terms of species distribution, majority of sequences found similarity with Medicago truncatula followed by Glycine max, Vitis vinifera and Populus trichocarpa and Pisum sativum sequences. Functional annotation was assigned using Blast2Go, and the Gene Ontology (GO) terms were categorized into biological process, molecular function and cellular component. Approximately 10.83 % of unigenes were assigned at least one GO term. Moreover, in the distribution of transcripts into various biological pathways, 20 of the annotated transcripts were assigned to ten pathways in KEGG database. A majority of the genes were found to be involved in sulphur and nitrogen metabolism. In the quantitative real-time PCR analysis, five of the transcription factors and three of the transporter genes were found to be highly expressed after Cd treatment. Besides, the utility of ESTs was demonstrated by exploiting them for the development of 83 genic molecular markers including EST-simple sequence repeats and intron targeted polymorphism that would assist in tagging of genes related to metal stress for future prospects.

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