Chemical herbicide is currently the leading method of weed control in maize field, and an indispensable important measure of modern agriculture. However, herbicide is a “two-edged sword”. Weeding without yield increase arising out of inappropriate usage of herbicide has become the key problem that restricts stable and increasing cereal yield in China. Glutathione transferases are the superfamily consisting of multifunctional protein, which can remove active oxygen, protect cytomembrane structure and protein activity when plants suffer from high salinity, drought, low temperature and heavy metal pollution stress. Therefore, the study of the mechanism of maize response to herbicide stress mediated by glutathione transferase can provide theoretical support for reducing herbicide damage and breeding of herbicide-tolerant maize varieties.
Recently, a research paper entitled “Role of ZmGST gene family involved in nicosulfuron stress tolerance revealed by genomic and transcriptomic analyses” was published online by weed research team from Institute of Cereal and Oil Crops of HAAFS in Agronomy. The team, using the HMM, identified 55 ZmGST genes in maize whole genomes and named them according to phylogeny analysis result. The class gene members homology of maize and others species (Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa) were analyzed by chromosomal localization, gene structure and conserved domain. Further transcriptomic data analysis of maize materials resistant and sensitive to Nicosulfuron before and after herbicide stress showed that Tau class gene members such as ZmGSTU24, ZmGSTU29, ZmGSTU28, and ZmGSTU19 exhibited 204.6-, 105.7-, 20.2-, and 11.3-fold higher expression comparing maize resistant materials with sensitive ones, while Phi class gene members such as ZmGSTF4, ZmGSTF7, ZmGSTF10, and ZmGSTF2 exhibited 10.7-, 4.6-, 3.9-, and 2.4-fold higher expression. It was speculated that there were more highly expressed Tau and Phi class gene members in resistant maize than sensitive maize, which can relieve Nicosulfuron damage to some extent.
This paper is the fourth SCI thesis about study of maize response to herbicide stress by weed research team. Previous research results were successively published in International journal of molecular sciences，Journal of Integrative Agriculture and Theoretical and Applied Genetics.
Doctor LIU Xiaomin, director of weed research team from Institute of Cereal and Oil Crops of HAAFS is the first author. Researcher WANG Guiqi is the corresponding author.
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