Drought is one of the important environmental factors, which seriously affects crop growth, yield and quality. Through a long term of evolution, plants have developed various strategies to deal with drought. The main strategy to cope with drought is enhancing drought tolerance of plants themselves by osmotic regulation and increasing antioxidant capacity. Plants often grow in a changing environment with alternating dry and wet conditions, especially for crops artificially interfered, such as wheat. Intermittent drought occurs more frequently in actual production. Rapid recovery capacity of crops after rehydration, with different degrees of compensation effect, can rapidly decrease damage caused by drought stress and reduce the influence of drought for crop yield, which is of great significance to crop production. However, studies of response to progressive drought and recovery upon rehydration are relatively limited. Therefore, comprehensive consideration of drought intensity and rehydration effect, and study of drought tolerance difference of various materials, will provide theoretical support for drought resistance and water saving mechanism research and breeding.
Recently, a research paper entitled “Different adaptive patterns of wheat with different drought tolerance under drought stresses and rehydration revealed by integrated metabolomic and transcriptomic analysis” was published online by doctor LV Liangjie from Institute of Cereal and Oil Crops of HAAFS in Frontiers in Plant Science. Combined with physiological and biochemical indices, this study conducted metabolomic and transcriptomic analysis of three wheat lines with different drought tolerance(drought-tolerant mutant Mu > common wheat Jimai 418 as CK > drought susceptible mutant mu) under moderate and severe drought stress as well as rehydration conditions. Study showed that flavonoid compounds play an important role in drought resistance, whose enrichment ways mainly include secondary metabolites biosynthesis, metabolic pathways and photosynthesis. The enrichment degree of Mu metabolites and genes related to osmotic regulation, antioxidase activity and ABA signal pathway is higher than that of CK and mu. Increase of antioxidase activity and flavonoid compounds content significantly enhances biosynthesis capacity of amino acid and ROS scavenging capacity, which may be inner mechanism of drought resistance enhancement. The three candidate genes and three potential metabolites achieved may contribute to recovery of Mu reversible ROS damage and rapid amino acid biosynthesis. This study provided new insights into the physiological mechanism of wheat under complicated drought condition, and laid the foundation of biological function eclucidation and genetic improvement application of wheat.
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