Transcriptome profiling of genes and pathways associated with arsenic toxicity and tolerance in Arabidopsis

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Abstract

Background: Arsenic (As) is a toxic metalloid found ubiquitously in the environment and widely considered an acute poison and carcinogen. However, the molecular mechanisms of the plant response to As and ensuing tolerance have not been extensively characterized. Here, we report on transcriptional changes with As treatment in two Arabidopsis accessions, Col-0 and Ws-2.Results: The root elongation rate was greater for Col-0 than Ws-2 with As exposure. Accumulation of As was lower in the more tolerant accession Col-0 than in Ws-2. We compared the effect of As exposure on genome-wide gene expression in the two accessions by comparative microarray assay. The genes related to heat response and oxidative stresses were common to both accessions, which indicates conserved As stress-associated responses for the two accessions. Most of the specific response genes encoded heat shock proteins, heat shock factors, ubiquitin and aquaporin transporters. Genes coding for ethylene-signalling components were enriched in As-tolerant Col-0 with As exposure. A tolerance-associated gene candidate encoding Leucine-Rich Repeat receptor-like kinase VIII (LRR-RLK VIII) was selected for functional characterization. Genetic loss-of-function analysis of the LRR-RLK VIII gene revealed altered As sensitivity and the metal accumulation in roots.Conclusions: Thus, ethylene-related pathways, maintenance of protein structure and LRR-RLK VIII-mediated signalling may be important mechanisms for toxicity and tolerance to As in the species. Here, we provide a comprehensive survey of global transcriptional regulation for As and identify stress- and tolerance-associated genes responding to As. © 2014 Fu et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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Fu, S. F., Chen, P. Y., Nguyen, Q. T. T., Huang, L. Y., Zeng, G. R., Huang, T. L., … Huang, H. J. (2014). Transcriptome profiling of genes and pathways associated with arsenic toxicity and tolerance in Arabidopsis. BMC Plant Biology, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2229-14-94

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