Submitted to: Plant and Animal Genome Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/16/2012
Publication Date: 1/11/2013
Citation: Bassett, C.L., Moore, J., Jenkins, R., Farrell, R. 2013. Apple (Malus H domestica Borkh.) responds to a simulated severe drought: genes common and unique to leaves and bark [abstract]. Plant and Animal Genome Conference. p. 57. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Dehydration is feature of many abiotic stresses, but is more often an agricultural threat on its own. Plants have evolved numerous mechanisms for coping with dehydration, including morphological, biochemical, and molecular genetic responses. These mechanisms are complex and involve various combinations of response mechanisms. Although a number of studies of drought response in herbaceous plants have been reported, there have been few studies on woody plants, particularly fruit tree crops. We have been studying dehydration responses in apple, using ‘Royal Gala’ as our model. Young plants (approximately 1yr old) were subjected to a two-week period representing a severe drought (water was withheld to 40 percent of pot saturation). The control group was watered every other day to saturation. mRNA from leaves and bark sampled at the end of the drought period was converted to cDNA and used in a suppression subtractive hybridization scheme to isolate genes both up- and down-regulated in response to the treatment. As expected, many genes associated with photosynthesis in leaves were down-regulated; however, select photosynthetic genes were also up-regulated. In bark tissue consisting mainly of green cambium, several photosynthetic genes found in leaves were also up- and down-regulated in bark. There were a few genes unique to each tissue that responded to drought treatment. Comparison of these genes with those found in roots or identified by other methods reveals the incredible complexity of this process.