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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stuttgart, Arkansas » Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #334648

Research Project: Using Genetic Approaches to Reduce Crop Losses in Rice Due to Biotic and Abiotic Stress

Location: Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center

Title: Metabolomic Profiling of Soybeans (Glycine Max L.) Reveals Importance of Sugar and Nitogen Metabolisms under Drought and Heat Stress

Author
item DAS, AAYUDH - University Of Vermont
item RUSHTON, PAUL - 22nd Century Group Inc
item Rohila, Jai

Submitted to: Plants
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/22/2017
Publication Date: 5/25/2017
Citation: Das, A., Rushton, P.J., Rohila, J.S. 2017. Metabolomic Profiling of Soybeans (Glycine Max L.) Reveals Importance of Sugar and Nitogen Metabolisms under Drought and Heat Stress. PLANTS. Plants 2017, 6, 21.

Interpretive Summary: In the US, when drought and heat stress hit farmers’ fields it can cause a loss of billions of dollars in revenue. Drought and heat stress reduce yield by affecting either the plant's fertilization process (which occurs during the reproductive phase) or growth and development (occurs during the vegetative phase). Several alterations in physiological pathways, as measured via transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, have been reported to play unique roles in this process. Changes in metabolic regulation is one of the critical alterations but very little is known about it. New analysis technologies enabled us to profile general metabolite changes in two soybean varieties that showed contrasting responses to drought and heat stress. We reveal how key metabolites (carbohydrates, amino acids, lipids, cofactors, nucleotides, peptides and secondary metabolites) are differentially accumulated in the two varieties as a result of drought and heat stress. Further, a computational approach based on regulatory networks addresses how pathways involving other compounds that were not detected in this study might also be important in response to heat and drought stress. These findings suggest new approaches to improve drought and heat stress tolerance in future soybean varieties.

Technical Abstract: Soybean, an important legume crop, is continually threatened by abiotic stresses, especially drought and heat stress. At molecular levels, reduced yields due to drought and heat stress can be seen in the alterations of metabolic homeostasis of vegetative tissues. A global metabolomics approach can be a powerful tool to study the temporal regulations of various metabolic pathways in soybean leaves. Such stress-associated metabolic profiling will improve our understanding of the stress-mediated effects on soybean metabolic pathways that affect growth and development. In this metabolomic investigation two soybean cultivars (Surge and Davison) that contrast in drought tolerance were used. Analyses of metabolomic data showed that in response to heat and drought stress, key metabolites (carbohydrates, amino acids, lipids, cofactors, nucleotides, peptides and secondary metabolites) are differentially regulated in the two varieties for various metabolic processes, such as glycolysis, the TCA cycle, the pentose phosphate pathway and starch biosynthesis, that regulate carbohydrate metabolism, amino acid metabolism, peptide metabolism, and purine and pyrimidine biosynthesis. A computational approach based on regulatory networks predicted more compounds that address how several other metabolic pathways might also be important in response to heat and drought stress. In this investigation, we demonstrated that in soybeans for drought and heat tolerance keeping up with sugar and nitrogen metabolisms is of prime significance along with phytochemical metabolism.