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Role of abcisic acid in regulating the expression of EcMyb gene for drought
stress tolerance in Eleusine coracana

Journal of Environment & Biotechnology Research, Vol. 6, No. 1, Pages 137-145, January 2017

Sarita Kumari, Shipra Sharma, Anil Kumar, Pushpa Lohani

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ABSTRACT

Abcisic acid (ABA) plays many important roles in plants, including seed germination , dormancy, stomata closure,
and adaptation to water stress. ABA has been implicated in responses to environmental stresses such as drought
and salinity. Drought is a major abiotic factor that limits agricultural crop productivity. The study was performed
to investigate the effect of drought on expression of Ecmyb gene on drought tolerant (PRM 6107) and sensitive
genotypes (PES 400) of Eleusine coracana in seedling stage and investigate whether it followed the ABA dependent
pathway. Different experiments were conducted wherein drought was induced by treatment with PEG
(polyethylene glycol) and ABA (abscisic acid) was applied in three different concentrations i.e. 25, 50 and 100 μM.
Expression of EcMyb gene was observed only in tolerant variety PRM 6107 under drought stress. It could be
thought that the expression of EcMyb transcription factor gene may be upregulating the expression of many
drought responsive genes which is providing drought tolerance to PRM 6107. In response to ABA, EcMyb gene was
expressed in both the genotypes. However, expression was strong and early i.e. after 6 h of the treatment in PRM
6107 than in PES 400. As drought is a complex phenomenon, therefore, to understand how ABA accumulates in
response to drought in both tolerant and sensitive varieties, primers were designed for NCED (9-cis epoxy
carotenoid dioxygenase) gene, an important gene in ABA synthesis pathway and co-expression of NCED and EcMyb
gene was recorded. The co-expression of NCED gene and EcMyb gene was observed only in PRM 6107 in drought
conditions since first day whereas in PES 400 a basal level expression of NCED gene was observed after 5th day.
There was no expression of EcMyb gene. It was concluded that EcMyb gene expressed only in that genotype which
can synthesise a certain level of ABA. Morphological and physiological parameters were also recorded in both the
genotypes after drought and ABA treatment. Root length increased, whereas shoot length, relative water content
(RWC) and chlorophyll content decreased with exposure of drought as well as ABA treatment. The study suggests
that EcMyb gene expresses only when ABA accumulates in plant cell and may follow ABA dependent signalling
pathway.
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Journal of Environment and Biotechnology Research
Volume 6, Number 1, 2017, pp. 137-145
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