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Evaluation of the role of genes encoding for dehydrin proteins (LEA D-11) during drought stress in arbuscular mycorrhizal Glycine max and Lactuca sativa plants

Author(s): Porcel R, Azco̍ n R, Ruiz-Lozano JM


In this study, it has been determined whether the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis is able to alter the pattern of dehydrin (LEA D-11 group) transcript accumulation under drought stress, and whether such a possible alteration functions in the protection of the host plants against drought. Two dehydrin-encoding genes have been cloned from Glycine max (gmlea 8 and gmlea 10) and one from Lactuca sativa (lslea 1) and they have been analysed for their contribution to the response against drought in mycorrhizal soybean and lettuce plants. Results with soybean plants showed that most of the treatments did not show LEA gene expression under well-watered conditions. The higher gene expression was found in non-inoculated plants subjected to drought. Only plants singly inoculated with Bradyrhizobium japonicum showed an important level of LEA gene expression under well-watered conditions and a reduced level under drought-stress conditions. The same results were confirmed in subsequent experiments and at the latest stage of a time-course experiment. In lettuce, the lslea 1 gene was also induced by drought stress in all treatments. However, the level of induction was clearly higher in roots from non-inoculated plants than in roots from the two AM treatments assayed. The overall results demonstrated that the levels of lea transcript accumulation in mycorrhizal treatments subjected to drought were considerably lower than in the corresponding non-mycorrhizal plants, indicating that the accumulation of LEA proteins is not a mechanism by which the AM symbiosis protects their host plant.

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