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Plant Mol Biol. 2014 Jan;84(1-2):125-43. doi: 10.1007/s11103-013-0123-3. Epub 2013 Aug 24.

Coexpression network analysis associated with call of rice seedlings for encountering heat stress.

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Department of Plant Molecular Biology, University of Delhi South Campus, New Delhi, 110021, India.


Coexpression network analysis is useful tool for identification of functional association of coexpressed genes. We developed a coexpression network of rice from heat stress transcriptome data. Global transcriptome of rice leaf tissues was performed by microarray at three time points--post 10 and 60 min heat stress at 42 °C and 30 min recovery at 26 °C following 60 min 42 °C heat stress to investigate specifically the early events in the heat stress and recovery response. The transcriptome profile was significantly modulated within 10 min of heat stress. Strikingly, the number of up-regulated genes was higher than the number of down-regulated genes in 10 min of heat stress. The enrichment of GO terms protein kinase activity/protein serine threonine kinase activity, response to heat and reactive oxygen species in up-regulated genes after 10 min signifies the role of signal transduction events and reactive oxygen species during early heat stress. The enrichment of transcription factor (TF) binding sites for heat shock factors, bZIPs and DREBs coupled with up-regulation of TFs of different families suggests that the heat stress response in rice involves integration of various regulatory networks. The interpretation of microarray data in the context of coexpression network analysis identified several functionally correlated genes consisting of previously documented heat upregulated genes as well as new genes that can be implicated in heat stress. Based on the findings on parallel analysis of growth of seedlings, associated changes in transcripts of selected Hsps, genome-wide microarray profiling and the coexpression network analysis, this study is a step forward in understanding heat response of rice, the world's most important food crop.

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