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Bioinformation. 2013;9(2):72-8. doi: 10.6026/97320630009072. Epub 2013 Jan 18.

Identification of conserved drought stress responsive gene-network across tissues and developmental stages in rice.

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  • 1National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, Indian Agricultural Research Institute Campus, New Delhi-110012, India ; Department of Biotechnology, Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi-835215, Jharkhand, India.


Identification of genes that are coexpressed across various tissues and environmental stresses is biologically interesting, since they may play coordinated role in similar biological processes. Genes with correlated expression patterns can be best identified by using coexpression network analysis of transcriptome data. In the present study, we analyzed the temporal-spatial coordination of gene expression in root, leaf and panicle of rice under drought stress and constructed network using WGCNA and Cytoscape. Total of 2199 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in at least three or more tissues, wherein 88 genes have coordinated expression profile among all the six tissues under drought stress. These 88 highly coordinated genes were further subjected to module identification in the coexpression network. Based on chief topological properties we identified 18 hub genes such as ABC transporter, ATP-binding protein, dehydrin, protein phosphatase 2C, LTPL153 - Protease inhibitor, phosphatidylethanolaminebinding protein, lactose permease-related, NADP-dependent malic enzyme, etc. Motif enrichment analysis showed the presence of ABRE cis-elements in the promoters of > 62% of the coordinately expressed genes. Our results suggest that drought stress mediated upregulated gene expression was coordinated through an ABA-dependent signaling pathway across tissues, at least for the subset of genes identified in this study, while down regulation appears to be regulated by tissue specific pathways in rice.


Coexpression; Drought stress; Hub gene; Rice; Transcriptome; WGCNA

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