Rice ( Oryza sativa L.) is sensitive to chilling particularly during early seedling development. Given the biochemical complexity of tolerance mechanisms, genetic potential for this trait depends on highly coordinated expression of many genes. We used a simple cDNA subtraction strategy to develop Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs) that represent an important subset of cold stress-upregulated genes. The 3,084 subtracted cDNA clones represent a total of 1,967 unigenes from 1,354 singletons and 613 contigs. As expected in the developing seedlings, genes involved in basic cellular processes, i.e., metabolism, growth and development, protein synthesis, folding and destination, cellular transport, cell division and DNA replication were widely represented. Genes with stress-related and regulatory functions comprised 23.17% of the total ESTs. These categories included proteins with known function in cellular defenses against abiotic (drought, cold and salinity) and biotic (pathogen) stresses, and proteins involved in developmental and stress response signalling and transcription. Based on the types of genes represented, tolerance mechanisms rely on precise integration of developmental processes with stress-related responses. A large fraction of the ESTs (38.7%) represents unknown proteins. This EST library is a rich source of cold stress-related genes, and supplements for other publicly available libraries for comprehensive analysis of the stress-response transcriptome.
TAG Theoretical and Applied Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 1, 2003
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