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Crop Biotech Update

Mechanism Involved in Drought Response of Arabidopsis thaliana Identified

July 1, 2015

Arabidopsis thaliana as the model plant and bred double mutant variant of A. thaliana expressing defective genes of At3g03940 and At5g18190. These varieties were subject under drought treatment conditions.

The results of their study reveal that mutant A. thaliana shows dwarfism and hypersensitivity to osmotic stress. In addition, the double mutant A. thaliana shows reduced levels of phosphorylated histone H3 threonine 3 (H3T3ph) while wild type mutant A. thaliana responded differently to osmotic stress. The wild type A. thaliana exhibits enhanced levels of H3T3ph and trimethylated histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4me3) and a decrease in histone H3. A protein kinase was also present in the wild type A. thaliana which leads to the accumulation of H3K4me3, however, this kinase is not found in the double mutant A. thaliana.

The findings indicate that the lack of  At3g03940 and At5g18190 reduces phosphorylation of histone and loss of kinase making double mutant A. thaliana more susceptible to drought. This further suggests that these defective genes restrain the defensive mechanism of A. thaliana against drought conditions.

Details of the study can be read at Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences in the United States of America.