Tolerant and Susceptible Sesame Genotypes Reveal Waterlogging Stress Response PatternsReport as inadecuate

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Waterlogging is a common adverse environmental condition that limits plant growth. Sesame Sesamum indicum is considered a drought-tolerant oil crop but is typically susceptible to harmful effects from waterlogging. The present study used comparative analysis to explore the waterlogging stress response associated with two sesame genotypes. The RNA-seq dataset generated during a time course of 0, 3, 9 and 15 h of waterlogging as well as 20 h post-drainage indicated that stress gradually suppressed the expression of sesame genes, with 9 h as the critical time point for the response of sesame to waterlogging stress. Of the 19,316 genes expressed during waterlogging, 72.1% were affected significantly. Sesame of both tolerant and susceptible genotypes showed decreased numbers of upregulated differentially expressed genes DEGs but increased numbers of downregulated DEGs at the onset of waterlogging. However, the tolerant-genotype sesame exhibited 25.5% more upregulated DEGs and 29.7% fewer downregulated DEGs than those of the susceptible-genotype strain between 3 and 15 h. The results indicated that the tolerant sesame displayed a more positive gene response to waterlogging. A total of 1,379 genes were significantly induced and commonly expressed in sesame under waterlogging conditions from 3 to 15 h regardless of tolerance level; of these genes, 98 are known homologous stress responsive genes, while the remaining 1,281 are newly reported here. This gene set may represent the core genes that function in response to waterlogging, including those related mainly to energy metabolism and phenylpropanoid biosynthesis. Furthermore, a set of 3,016 genes functioning in energy supply and cell repair or formation was activated in sesame recovery from waterlogging stress. A comparative analysis between sesame of the tolerant and susceptible genotypes revealed 66 genes that may be candidates for improving sesame tolerance to waterlogging. This study provided a comprehensive picture of the sesame gene expression pattern in response to waterlogging stress. These results will help dissect the mechanism of the sesame response to waterlogging and identify candidate genes to improve its tolerance.

Author: Linhai Wang, Donghua Li, Yanxin Zhang, Yuan Gao, Jingyin Yu, Xin Wei, Xiurong Zhang



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