Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/20/2003
Publication Date: 1/20/2004
Citation: Payton, P.R., Ochoa-Alejo, N. 2004. Functional genomics of drought stress responses in chile pepper [abstract]. Plant and Animal Genome XII Conference. Interpretive Summary: No summary required
Technical Abstract: Chile pepper is an economically important crop in semi-arid subtropical regions of Mexico and the Southwestern United States. Because these areas are often water limited and high thermal stress enviroments, significant decreases in yield are routine. The identification of genetic factors controlling the complex responses of plants to abiotic stress provides a solid basis for improving resistance to drought and thermal stress. We have started a collaborative effort in examining drought-stress responses in chile pepper. The current research is directed toward 1) the identification of metabolic responses to water-deficit and temperature stress and the underlying molecular and genetic mechanisms controlling these responses 2) the development and application of new tools for screening germplasm for desired stress tolerance traits 3) the development of genetic technologies for direct detection of plant stress status. Neftali Ochoa-Alejo's laboratory has developed PEG resistant cell lines in chile and started initial transcriptional profiling in commercial chile cultivars. 124 cDNAs using differential display. 30 cDNAs have been cloned and a subset has been confirmed differentially expressed in PEG resistant line and plant tissues subjected to water-deficit stress. Sequence analysis revealed that one fragment showed homology to known drought responsive genes including an Early Light Inducible Protein, Auxin responsive factor, and thiolase. More recently, we have begun experiments using tomato cDNA microarrays for gene expression profiling in chile pepper, taking advantage of the massive amount of genetic information available in tomato. The results of our expression profiling of drought stress in chile, the development of drought resistant cell lines, and advances in chile pepper transformation will be presented at this meeting.