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Protoplasma

Physiological performance, secondary metabolite and expression profiling of genes associated with drought tolerance in Withania somnifera.


PMID 25691002

Abstract

Physiological, biochemical, and gene expression responses under drought stress were studied in Withania somnifera. Photosynthesis rate, stomatal conductance, transpiration rate, relative water content, chlorophyll content, and quantum yield of photosystems I and II (PSI and PSII) decreased in response to drought stress. Comparative expression of genes involved in osmoregulation, detoxification, signal transduction, metabolism, and transcription factor was analyzed through quantitative RT-PCR. The genes encoding 1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthetase (P5CS), glutathione S-transferase (GST), superoxide dismutase (SOD), serine threonine-protein kinase (STK), serine threonine protein phosphatase (PSP), aldehyde dehydrogenase (AD), leucoanthocyanidin dioxygenase/anthocyanin synthase (LD/AS), HSP, MYB, and WRKY have shown upregulation in response to drought stress condition in leaf tissues. Enhanced detoxification and osmoregulation along with increased withanolides production were also observed under drought stress. The results of this study will be helpful in developing stress-tolerant and high secondary metabolite yielding genotypes.