Transcriptomic profiling of tall fescue in response to heat stress and improved thermotolerance by melatonin and 24-epibrassinolide.

Research paper by Mohammad Nur MN Alam, Lihua L Zhang, Li L Yang, Md Rabiul MR Islam, Yang Y Liu, Hong H Luo, Pingfang P Yang, Qingfeng Q Wang, Zhulong Z Chan

Indexed on: 29 Mar '18Published on: 29 Mar '18Published in: BMC Genomics


Tall fescue is a widely used cool season turfgrass and relatively sensitive to high temperature. Chemical compounds like melatonin (MT) and 24-epibrassinolide (EBL) have been reported to improve plant heat stress tolerance effectively. In this study, we reported that MT and EBL pretreated tall fescue seedlings showed decreased reactive oxygen species (ROS), electrolyte leakage (EL) and malondialdehide (MDA), but increased chlorophyll (Chl), total protein and antioxidant enzyme activities under heat stress condition, resulting in improved plant growth. Transcriptomic profiling analysis showed that 4311 and 8395 unigenes were significantly changed after 2 h and 12 h of heat treatments, respectively. Among them, genes involved in heat stress responses, DNA, RNA and protein degradation, redox, energy metabolisms, and hormone metabolism pathways were highly induced after heat stress. Genes including FaHSFA3, FaAWPM and FaCYTC2 were significantly upregulated by both MT and EBL treatments, indicating that these genes might function as the putative target genes of MT and EBL. These findings indicated that heat stress caused extensively transcriptomic reprogramming of tall fescue and exogenous application of MT and EBL effectively improved thermotolerance in tall fescue.