Distinct gene networks drive differential response to abrupt or gradual water deficit in potato

Alfredo Ambrosone, Giorgia Batelli, Hamed Bostan, Nunzio D'Agostino, Maria Luisa Chiusano, Gaetano Perrotta, Antonietta Leone, Stefania Grillo, Antonello Costa

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Water-limiting conditions affect dramatically plant growth and development and, ultimately, yield of potato plants (Solanum tuberosum L.). Therefore, understanding the mechanisms underlying the response to water deficit is of paramount interest to obtain drought tolerant potato varieties. Herein, potato 10�K cDNA array slides were used to profile transcriptomic changes of two potato cell populations under abrupt (shocked cells) or gradual exposure (adapted cells) to polyethylene glycol (PEG)-mediated water stress. Data analysis identified >�1000 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in our experimental conditions. Noteworthy, our microarray study also suggests that distinct gene networks underlie the cellular response to shock or gradual water stress. On the basis of our experimental findings, it is possible to speculate that DEGs identified in shocked cells participate in early protective and sensing mechanisms to environmental insults, while the genes whose expression was modulated in adapted cells are directly involved in the acquisition of a new cellular homeostasis to cope with water stress conditions. To validate microarray data obtained for potato cells, the expression analysis of 21 selected genes of interest was performed by Real-Time Quantitative Reverse Transcription PCR (qRT-PCR). Intriguingly, the expression levels of these transcripts in 4-week old potato plants exposed to long-term water-deficit. qRT-PCR analysis showed that several genes were regulated similarly in potato cells cultures and tissues exposed to drought, thus confirming the efficacy of our simple experimental system to capture important genes involved in osmotic stress response. Highlighting the differences in gene expression between shock-like and adaptive response, our findings could contribute to the discussion on the biological function of distinct gene networks involved in the response to abrupt and gradual adaptation to water deficit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30 - 39
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics

Cite this

Ambrosone, A., Batelli, G., Bostan, H., D'Agostino, N., Chiusano, M. L., Perrotta, G., ... Costa, A. (2017). Distinct gene networks drive differential response to abrupt or gradual water deficit in potato. Gene, 597, 30 - 39. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gene.2016.10.024