Crop Biotech Update

Cross-Species Meta-Analysis Reveal Drought-adaptive Genes

May 6, 2015

Drought is the major stress threatening crop productivity worldwide. Identification of new genes and metabolic pathways involved in adaptation to drought stress at the reproductive stage is of great interest for research. The team led by Zvi Peleg from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel conducted a cross-Species meta-analysis of drought stress at the reproductive stage (CSA:Drought) to identify drought adaptive genes and mechanisms.

Using microarray experiments of Arabidopsis, rice, wheat, and barley, the team was able to identify 225 differentially expressed genes shared across studies and taxa and classified these shared genes into functional categories. The universal nature of the identified drought-adaptive genes was further validated in a fifth species, Brachypodium distachyon. Analysis of 27 randomly selected, shared orthologs showed similar expression patterns as was found by the CSA: Drought.

The CSA:Drought strategy identified major drought-adaptive genes and metabolic pathways that were only partially reported in the original studies. These genes include unclassified genes that could be involved in new adaptation mechanisms. The identified shared genes can prove to be useful for subsequent research.

For more on the study, read the full article on BMC Plant Biology.