Data_Sheet_2_Shaping Durum Wheat for the Future: Gene Expression Analyses and Metabolites Profiling Support the Contribution of BCAT Genes to Drought .xlsx (49.09 kB)
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Data_Sheet_2_Shaping Durum Wheat for the Future: Gene Expression Analyses and Metabolites Profiling Support the Contribution of BCAT Genes to Drought Stress Response.xlsx

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posted on 03.07.2020, 12:33 by Valentina Buffagni, Filippo Vurro, Michela Janni, Mariolina Gullì, Arturo A. Keller, Nelson Marmiroli

Global climate change, its implications for agriculture, and the complex scenario presented by the scientific community are of worldwide concern. Drought is a major abiotic stress that can restrict plants growth and yields, thus the identification of genotypes with higher adaptability to drought stress represents one of the primary goals in breeding programs. During abiotic stress, metabolic adaptation is crucial for stress tolerance, and accumulation of specific amino acids and/or as secondary metabolites deriving from amino acid metabolism may correlate with the increased tolerance to adverse environmental conditions. This work, focused on the metabolism of branched chain-amino acids (BCAAs) in durum wheat and the role of branched-chain amino acid aminotransferases (BCATs) in stress response. The role of BCATs in plant response to drought was previously proposed for Arabidopsis, where the levels of BCAAs were altered at the transcriptional level under drought conditions, triggering the onset of defense response metabolism. However, in wheat the role of BCAAs as a trigger of the onset of the drought defense response has not been elucidated. A comparative genomic approach elucidated the composition of the BCAT gene family in durum wheat. Here we demonstrate a tissue and developmental stage specificity of BCATs regulation in the drought response. Moreover, a metabolites profiling was performed on two contrasting durum wheat cultivars Colosseo and Cappelli resulting in the detection of a specific pattern of metabolites accumulated among genotypes and, in particular, in an enhanced BCAAs accumulation in the tolerant cv Cappelli further supporting a role of BCAAs in the drought defense response. The results support the use of gene expression and target metabolomic in modern breeding to shape new cultivars more resilient to a changing climate.

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