Exploring gene networks in two sunflower lines with contrasting leaf senescence phenotype using a system biology approach


Leaf senescence is a complex process, controlled by multiple genetic and environmental variables. In sunflower, leaf senescence is triggered abruptly following anthesis thereby limiting the capacity of plants to keep their green leaf area during grain filling, which subsequently has a strong impact on crop yield. Recently, we performed a selection of contrasting sunflower inbred lines for the progress of leaf senescence through a physiological, cytological and molecular approach. Here we present a large scale transcriptomic analysis using RNA-seq and its integration with metabolic profiles for two contrasting sunflower inbred lines, R453 and B481–6 (early and delayed senescence respectively), with the aim of identifying metabolic pathways associated to leaf senescence.


Gene expression profiles revealed a higher number of differentially expressed genes, as well as, higher expression levels in R453, providing evidence for early activation of the senescence program in this line. Metabolic pathways associated with sugars and nutrient recycling were differentially regulated between the lines. Additionally, we identified transcription factors acting as hubs in the co-expression networks; some previously reported as senescence-associated genes in model species but many are novel candidate genes.


Understanding the onset and the progress of the senescence process in crops and the identification of these new candidate genes will likely prove highly useful for different management strategies to mitigate the impact of senescence on crop yield. Functional characterization of candidate genes will help to develop molecular tools for biotechnological applications in breeding crop yield.

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Field Value
Author Moschen, Sebastián
Last Updated November 20, 2019, 16:52 (UTC)
Created November 4, 2019, 17:56 (UTC)
Article Host Type publisher
Article Is Open Access true
Article License Type cc-by
Article Version Type publishedVersion
Citation Report https://scite.ai/reports/10.1186/s12870-019-2021-6
DOI 10.1186/s12870-019-2021-6
Date Last Updated 2019-10-25T21:03:31.186311
Evidence open (via page says license)
Funder code(s) Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (PE 1131022, PE 1131043); Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (PIP 11220120100262CO); ANPCyT (PICT 2014-0175, PICT 2012-0390); ANPCyT (PICT 2014-0175, PICT 2012-0390); Marie Curie IRSES Project DEANN (PIRSES-GA-2013-612583); SUNRISE (SUNRISE); Heliasen (Heliasen)
Journal Is Open Access true
Open Access Status gold
PDF URL https://bmcplantbiol.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/s12870-019-2021-6
Publisher URL https://doi.org/10.1186/s12870-019-2021-6