Integration of transcriptomic and metabolic data reveals hub transcription factors involved in drought stress response in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.)

Drought is one of the most important environmental stresses that effects crop productivity in many agricultural regions. Sunflower is tolerant to drought conditions but the mechanisms involved in this tolerance remain unclear at the molecular level. The aim of this study was to characterize and integrate transcriptional and metabolic pathways related to drought stress in sunflower plants, by using a system biology approach. Our results showed a delay in plant senescence with an increase in the expression level of photosynthesis related genes as well as higher levels of sugars, osmoprotectant amino acids and ionic nutrients under drought conditions. In addition, we identified transcription factors that were upregulated during drought conditions and that may act as hubs in the transcriptional network. Many of these transcription factors belong to families implicated in the drought response in model species. The integration of transcriptomic and metabolomic data in this study, together with physiological measurements, has improved our understanding of the biological responses during droughts and contributes to elucidate the molecular mechanisms involved under this environmental condition. These findings will provide useful biotechnological tools to improve stress tolerance while maintaining crop yield under restricted water availability.

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Author Moschen, Sebastián
Last Updated November 20, 2019, 16:49 (UTC)
Created August 1, 2019, 10:30 (UTC)
Article Is Open Access false
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DOI 10.1007/s11103-017-0625-5
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