Transcriptomic Response to Water Deficit Reveals a Crucial Role of Phosphate Acquisition in a Drought-Tolerant Common Bean Landrace
López, Cristina María
Pineda Priego, Manuel
Muñoz Alamillo, Josefa
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Drought is one of the most critical factors limiting legume crop productivity. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of drought tolerance in the common bean is required to improve the yields of this important crop under adverse conditions. In this work, RNA-seq analysis was performed to compare the transcriptome profiles of drought-stressed and well-irrigated plants of a previously characterized drought-tolerant common bean landrace. The analysis revealed responses related with the abscisic acid signaling, including downregulation of a phosphatase 2C (PP2C) and an abscisic acid-8`hydroxylase, and upregulation of several key transcription factors and genes involved in cell wall remodeling, synthesis of osmoprotectants, protection of photosynthetic apparatus, and downregulation of genes involved in cell expansion. The results also highlighted a significant proportion of differentially expressed genes related to phosphate starvation response. In addition, the moderate detrimental effects of drought in the biomass of these tolerant plants were abolished by the addition of phosphate, thus indicating that, besides the ABA-mediated response, acquisition of phosphate could be crucial for the drought tolerance of this common bean genotype. These results provided information about the mechanisms involved in drought response of common bean response that could be useful for enhancing the drought tolerance of this important crop legume.