Image_1_Effects of High Temperature and Drought Stress on the Expression of Gene Encoding Enzymes and the Activity of Key Enzymes Involved in Starch Biosynthesis in Wheat Grains.png
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High temperature (HT) and drought stress (DS) play negative roles in wheat growth, and are two most important factors that limit grain yield. Starch, the main component of the wheat [endosperm, accounts for 65–75% of grain weight, and is significantly influenced by environmental factors. To understand the effects of post-anthesis HT and DS on starch biosynthesis, we performed a pot experiment using wheat cultivar “Zhengmai 366” under field conditions combined with a climate-controlled greenhouse to simulate HT. There were two temperature regimes (optimum day/night temperatures of 25/15°C and high day/night temperatures of 32/22°C from 10 days after anthesis to maturity) accompanied by two water treatments (optimum of ∼75% relative soil water content, and a DS of ∼50% relative soil water content). Optimum temperature with optimum water treatment was the control (CK). We evaluated the expression patterns of 23 genes encoding six classes of enzymes involved in starch biosynthesis in wheat grains using real-time qPCR. HT, DS, and HT+DS treatments altered gene expression profiles. Compared to the CK, expression of 22 of the 23 genes was down regulated by HT, and only one gene (ISA2) was up-regulated by HT. Actually ISA2 was the only gene up-regulated by all three stress treatments. The expression of 17 genes was up-regulated, while six genes, including granule-bound starch synthase (GBSSI), AGPS2, BEIII, PHOL, ISA1, and AGPL2, were down-regulated by DS. Eleven genes were down-regulated and 12 were up-regulated by HT+DS. The activity of ADP-Glc pyrophosphorylase, starch synthases, GBSS, SS, and starch branching enzymes in the stress treatments (HT, DS, and HT+DS) often appeared to peak values in advance and declined significantly to be lower than that in the CK. The genes that coordinated participation in the enzymes formation can serve as an indicator of the enzymes activity potentially involved in starch biosynthesis. HT, DS, and HT+DS altered the timing of starch biosynthesis and also influenced the accumulation of amylose, amylopectin, total starch, and sucrose. Under HT, DS, and HT+DS, the key enzymes activity and their genes expression associated with the conversion of sucrose to starch, was reduced, which was the leading cause of the reductions in starch content. Our study provide further evidence about the effects of stress on starch biosynthesis in wheat, as well as a physiological understanding of the impact of post-anthesis heat and DS on starch accumulation and wheat grain yield.
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