Frontiers in Plant Science (Dec 2016)

Transcriptomic profiling of soybean in response to high-intensity UV-B irradiation reveals stress defense signaling

  • Min Young Yoon,
  • Moon Young Kim,
  • Moon Young Kim,
  • Sangrea Shim,
  • Kyung Do Kim,
  • Jungmin Ha,
  • Jungmin Ha,
  • Jin Hee Shin,
  • Sungtaeg Kang,
  • Suk-Ha Lee,
  • Suk-Ha Lee

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 7


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The depletion of the ozone layer in the stratosphere has led to a dramatic spike in ultraviolet B (UV-B) intensity and increased UV-B light levels. The direct absorption of high-intensity UV-B induces complex abiotic stresses in plants, including excessive light exposure, heat, and dehydration. However, UV-B stress signaling mechanisms in plants including soybean (Glycine max [L.]) remain poorly understood. Here, we surveyed the overall transcriptional responses of two soybean genotypes, UV-B-sensitive Cheongja 3 and UV-B-resistant Buseok, to continuous UV-B irradiation for 0 (control), 0.5, and 6 h using RNA-seq analysis. Homology analysis using UV-B-related genes from Arabidopsis thaliana revealed differentially expressed genes (DEGs) likely involved in UV-B stress responses. Functional classification of the DEGs showed that the categories of immune response, stress defense signaling, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) metabolism were over-represented. UV-B-resistant Buseok utilized phosphatidic acid-dependent signaling pathways (based on subsequent reactions of phospholipase C and diacylglycerol kinase) rather than phospholipase D in response to UV-B exposure at high fluence rates, and genes involved in its downstream pathways, such as ABA signaling, mitogen-activated protein kinase cascades, and ROS overproduction, were upregulated in this genotype. In addition, the DEGs for TIR-NBS-LRR and heat shock proteins are positively activated. These results suggest that defense mechanisms against UV-B stress at high fluence rates are separate from the photomorphogenic responses utilized by plants to adapt to low-level UV light. Our study provides valuable information for deep understanding of UV-B stress defense mechanisms and for the development of resistant soybean genotypes that survive under high-intensity UV-B stress.