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Plant Signal Behav. 2012 May;7(5):539-43. doi: 10.4161/psb.19780. Epub 2012 Apr 20.

Global regulation of reactive oxygen species scavenging genes in alfalfa root and shoot under gradual drought stress and recovery.

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The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, OK, USA.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and scavenging in plants under drought stress have been studied intensively in recent years. Here we report a global analysis of gene expression for the major ROS generating and scavenging proteins in alfalfa root and shoot under gradual drought stress followed by one-day recovery. Data from two alfalfa varieties, one drought tolerant and one drought sensitive, were compared and no qualitative differences in ROS gene regulation between the two were found. Conserved, tissue-specific patterns of gene expression in response to drought were observed for several ROS-scavenging gene families, including ascorbate peroxidase, monodehydroascorbate reductase, and peroxiredoxin. In addition, differential gene expression within families was observed. Genes for the ROS-generating enzyme, NADPH oxidase were generally induced under drought, while those for glycolate oxidase were repressed. Among the ROS-scavenging protein genes, Ferritin, Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD), and the majority of the glutathione peroxidase family members were induced under drought in both roots and shoots of both alfalfa varieties. In contrast, Fe-SOD, CC-type glutaredoxins, and thoiredoxins were downregulated.

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