Early transcriptional response of soybean contrasting accessions to root dehydration.
Drought is a significant constraint to yield increase in soybean. The early perception of water deprivation is critical for recruitment of genes that promote plant tolerance. DeepSuperSAGE libraries, including one control and a bulk of six stress times imposed (from 25 to 150 min of root dehydration) for drought-tolerant and sensitive soybean accessions, allowed to identify new molecular targets for drought tolerance. The survey uncovered 120,770 unique transcripts expressed by the contrasting accessions. Of these, 57,610 aligned with known cDNA sequences, allowing the annotation of 32,373 unitags. A total of 1,127 unitags were up-regulated only in the tolerant accession, whereas 1,557 were up-regulated in both as compared to their controls. An expression profile concerning the most representative Gene Ontology (GO) categories for the tolerant accession revealed the expression "protein binding" as the most represented for "Molecular Function", whereas CDPK and CBL were the most up-regulated protein families in this category. Furthermore, particular genes expressed different isoforms according to the accession, showing the potential to operate in the distinction of physiological behaviors. Besides, heat maps comprising GO categories related to abiotic stress response and the unitags regulation observed in the expression contrasts covering tolerant and sensitive accessions, revealed the unitags potential for plant breeding. Candidate genes related to "hormone response" (LOX, ERF1b, XET), "water response" (PUB, BMY), "salt stress response" (WRKY, MYB) and "oxidative stress response" (PER) figured among the most promising molecular targets. Additionally, nine transcripts (HMGR, XET, WRKY20, RAP2-4, EREBP, NAC3, PER, GPX5 and BMY) validated by RT-qPCR (four different time points) confirmed their differential expression and pointed that already after 25 minutes a transcriptional reorganization started in response to the new condition, with important differences between both accessions.