Genome-Wide Identification and Analysis of Genes, Conserved between japonica and indica Rice Cultivars, that Respond to Low-Temperature Stress at the Vegetative Growth Stage

Kumar, M.; Gho, Y.-S.; Jung, K.-H.; Kim, S.-R.

Frontiers in Plant Science 8: 1120


ISSN/ISBN: 1664-462X
PMID: 28713404
DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2017.01120
Accession: 059770069

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Cold stress is very detrimental to crop production. However, only a few genes in rice have been identified with known functions related to cold tolerance. To meet this agronomic challenge more effectively, researchers must take global approaches to select useful candidate genes and find the major regulatory factors. We used five Gene expression omnibus series data series of Affymetrix array data, produced with cold stress-treated samples from the NCBI Gene Expression Omnibus (, and identified 502 cold-inducible genes common to both japonica and indica rice cultivars. From them, we confirmed that the expression of two randomly chosen genes was increased by cold stress in planta. In addition, overexpression of OsWRKY71 enhanced cold tolerance in 'Dongjin,' the tested japonica cultivar. Comparisons between japonica and indica rice, based on calculations of plant survival rates and chlorophyll fluorescence, confirmed that the japonica rice was more cold-tolerant. Gene Ontology enrichment analysis indicate that the 'L-phenylalanine catabolic process,' within the Biological Process category, was the most highly overrepresented under cold-stress conditions, implying its significance in that response in rice. MapMan analysis classified 'Major Metabolic' processes and 'Regulatory Gene Modules' as two other major determinants of the cold-stress response and suggested several key cis-regulatory elements. Based on these results, we proposed a model that includes a pathway for cold stress-responsive signaling. Results from our functional analysis of the main signal transduction and transcription regulation factors identified in that pathway will provide insight into novel regulatory metabolism(s), as well as a foundation by which we can develop crop plants with enhanced cold tolerance.