Paper Details


Molecular characterization of growth and proteolysis related genes in maize under drought stress

Komal Arif, Rafiq Ahmad, Sabaz Ali Khan, Saeed Ahmad Asad, Toqeer Ahmad, Ghulam Hassen Abbasi and Muhammad Shahzad

Drought is one of the major environmental stresses that cause severe reduction in growth and yield of maize crop worldwide. Current Research was executed  to evaluate for the first time the expression pattern of growth related expansin genes, proteolysis related cysteine protease and their natural inhibitors “cystatins” genes in two maize varieties (Syngenta 8441 and Islamabad gold) under three different water levels of drought stress i.e., control, moderate and sever stress. The results of the molecular analyses demonstrated that Exp1 gene over expressed in variety Syngenta 8441 as compared to variety Islamabad gold. In contrast, the expression of ExpB2 was very low in both the varieties. However, the expression of metacaspase 2 and metacaspase 3 genes was higher in variety Islamabad gold whereas the expression of their inhibitors CC8 and CC9 was found to be very low. It is hypothesized that the expression of metacaspase 2 and metacaspase 3 was suppressed by the inhibitors CC8 and CC9 under severe drought stress in variety Syngenta 8441. According to these results, Syngenta 8441 is seemed to be a drought resistant variety while Islamabad gold is a drought sensitive variety. Further, bioinformatics analyses of these genes revealed important conserved protein domains that are involved in the drought stress. As Exp1, CC8 and CC9 genes were highly expressed in maize plant under drought stress, so in future expression of one or more of these genes could be used not only to screen drought sensitive and drought tolerant or resistant maize varieties but also for the production of transgenic maize as well as other crop to enhance their drought stress tolerance. 

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