Transcriptome analysis of rice root responses to potassium deficiency
State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry (SKLPPB), National Plant Gene Research Centre (Beijing), College of Biological Sciences, China Agricultural University, #2 West Yuan Ming Yuan Rd, Beijing, 100193, China
BMC Plant Biology 2012, 12:161 doi:10.1186/1471-2229-12-161Published: 10 September 2012
Potassium (K+) is an important nutrient ion in plant cells and plays crucial roles in many plant physiological and developmental processes. In the natural environment, K+ deficiency is a common abiotic stress that inhibits plant growth and reduces crop productivity. Several microarray studies have been conducted on genome-wide gene expression profiles of rice during its responses to various stresses. However, little is known about the transcriptional changes in rice genes under low-K+ conditions.
We analyzed the transcriptomic profiles of rice roots in response to low-K+ stress. The roots of rice seedlings with or without low-K+ treatment were harvested after 6 h, and 3 and 5 d, and used for microarray analysis. The microarray data showed that many genes (2,896) were up-regulated or down-regulated more than 1.2-fold during low-K+ treatment. GO analysis indicated that the genes showing transcriptional changes were mainly in the following categories: metabolic process, membrane, cation binding, kinase activity, transport, and so on. We conducted a comparative analysis of transcriptomic changes between Arabidopsis and rice under low-K+ stress. Generally, the genes showing changes in transcription in rice and Arabidopsis in response to low-K+ stress displayed similar GO distribution patterns. However, there were more genes related to stress responses and development in Arabidopsis than in rice. Many auxin-related genes responded to K+ deficiency in rice, whereas jasmonic acid-related enzymes may play more important roles in K+ nutrient signaling in Arabidopsis.
According to the microarray data, fewer rice genes showed transcriptional changes in response to K+ deficiency than to phosphorus (P) or nitrogen (N) deficiency. Thus, transcriptional regulation is probably more important in responses to low-P and -N stress than to low-K+ stress. However, many genes in some categories (protein kinase and ion transporter families) were markedly up-regulated, suggesting that they play important roles during K+ deficiency. Comparative analysis of transcriptomic changes between Arabidopsis and rice showed that monocots and dicots share many similar mechanisms in response to K+ deficiency, despite some differences. Further research is required to clarify the differences in transcriptional regulation between monocots and dicots.