Sugarcane-specific drought responsive candidate genes belonging to ABA-independent pathway identified from tolerant and susceptible clones of Saccharum and Erianthus species
Priji, P. J.; Hemaprabha, G.
Indian Journal of Genetics and Plant Breeding 74(1): 64-72
ISSN/ISBN: 0019-5200 Accession: 066282303
Drought is a major limitation to sustainable sugarcane production worldwide and the study of candidate genes provide a productive approach for establishing the basic responses of plants to drought. In present study, 14 putative candidate genes belonging to abscisic acid (ABA) independent pathway were screened on a set of tolerant species clones belonging to Saccharum spontaneum, S. barber!, S. sinense, S. robustum and Erianthus and the susceptible species clones of S. officinarum. Out of these, 11 genes viz., DREB 1A, DRF 1, Hep2, HRD, NAC 2, NIT 1, PIN 3, SHN 1, S1Z 1, Snac 1 and Wrky 38 were present in Saccharum and Erianthus, highlighting the role of these genes in drought tolerance. The number of candidate genes detected in S. officinarum ranged from zero to three. Three typical clones viz, Awela 68, Laukona 15 and 57 NG 215 did not show the presence of any of the drought specific genes studied, showing their pure S. officinarum nature, while the rest are suspected to be introgressed forms evolved in their place of origin/diversity. All the drought tolerant species clones exhibited eight to eleven genes indicating the role of these genes in imparting drought tolerance in sugarcane. All genes were uniformly present in drought tolerant species clones viz., kitty 2, S. spontaneum (Coimbatore) and SES 600 (S. spontaneum), NG 77-59 (S. robustum), Kewali and Khatuia (S. barber,), Ikhri (S. sinense) and IK 76-62 and IK 76-48 (Erianthus sp.). These clones could serve as potential donors in pre-breeding activities for genetic improvement of drought tolerance in sugarcane and the eleven sugarcane specific drought responsive genes can serve as novel and functional candidate gene markers in marker-assisted introgression breeding programmes.