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Heat stress-responsive transcriptome analysis in heat susceptible and tolerant wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) by using Wheat Genome Array

Dandan Qin12, Haiyan Wu12, Huiru Peng12, Yingyin Yao12, Zhongfu Ni12, Zhenxing Li12, Chunlei Zhou12 and Qixin Sun12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Plant Genetics & Breeding and State Key Laboratory for Agrobiotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing100193, PR China

2 Key Laboratory of Crop Heterosis and Utilization (MOE), Key Laboratory of Crop Genomics and Genetic Improvement (MOA) and Beijing Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, China Agricultural University, Beijing100193, PR China

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BMC Genomics 2008, 9:432  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-432

Published: 22 September 2008



Wheat is a major crop in the world, and the high temperature stress can reduce the yield of wheat by as much as 15%. The molecular changes in response to heat stress are poorly understood. Using GeneChip® Wheat Genome Array, we analyzed genome-wide gene expression profiles in the leaves of two wheat genotypes, namely, heat susceptible 'Chinese Spring' (CS) and heat tolerant 'TAM107' (TAM).


A total of 6560 (~10.7%) probe sets displayed 2-fold or more changes in expression in at least one heat treatment (

ate, FDR, α = 0.001). Except for heat shock protein (HSP) and heat shock factor (HSF) genes, these putative heat responsive genes encode transcription factors and proteins involved in phytohormone biosynthesis/signaling, calcium and sugar signal pathways, RNA metabolism, ribosomal proteins, primary and secondary metabolisms, as well as proteins related to other stresses. A total of 313 probe sets were differentially expressed between the two genotypes, which could be responsible for the difference in heat tolerance of the two genotypes. Moreover, 1314 were differentially expressed between the heat treatments with and without pre-acclimation, and 4533 were differentially expressed between short and prolonged heat treatments.


The differences in heat tolerance in different wheat genotypes may be associated with multiple processes and mechanisms involving HSPs, transcription factors, and other stress related genes. Heat acclimation has little effects on gene expression under prolonged treatments but affects gene expression in wheat under short-term heat stress. The heat stress responsive genes identified in this study will facilitate our understanding of molecular basis for heat tolerance in different wheat genotypes and future improvement of heat tolerance in wheat and other cereals.