DNA microarray revealed and RNAi plants confirmed key genes conferring low Cd accumulation in barley grains

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  • Hongyan Sun, Department of Agronomy, College of Agriculture and Biotechnology, Zijingang Campus, Zhejiang University, China
  • Zhong-Hua Chen, Department of Agronomy, College of Agriculture and Biotechnology, Zijingang Campus, Zhejiang University, China
  • Fei Chen, Department of Agronomy, College of Agriculture and Biotechnology, Zijingang Campus, Zhejiang University, China
  • Lupeng Xie, Department of Agronomy, College of Agriculture and Biotechnology, Zijingang Campus, Zhejiang University, China
  • Guoping Zhang, Department of Agronomy, College of Agriculture and Biotechnology, Zijingang Campus, Zhejiang University, China
  • Eva Vincze
  • Feibo Wu, Department of Agronomy, College of Agriculture and Biotechnology, Zijingang Campus, Zhejiang University, China
Background
Understanding the mechanism of low Cd accumulation in crops is crucial for sustainable safe food production in Cd-contaminated soils.
Results
Confocal microscopy, atomic absorption spectrometry, gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence analyses revealed a distinct difference in Cd accumulation and tolerance between the two contrasting barley genotypes: W6nk2 (a low-grain-Cd-accumulating and Cd-sensitive genotype) and Zhenong8 (a high-grain-Cd-accumulating and tolerant genotype). A DNA microarray analysis detected large-scale changes of gene expression in response to Cd stress with a substantial difference between the two genotypes. Cd stress led to higher expression of genes involved in transport, carbohydrate metabolism and signal transduction in the low-grain-Cd-accumulating genotype. Novel transporter genes such as zinc transporter genes were identified as being associated with low Cd accumulation. Quantitative RT-PCR confirmed our microarray data. Furthermore, suppression of the zinc transporter genes HvZIP3 and HvZIP8 by RNAi silencing showed increased Cd accumulation and reduced Zn and Mn concentrations in barley grains. Thus, HvZIP3 and HvZIP8 could be candidate genes related to low-grain-Cd-accumulation.
Conclusion
Novel transporter genes such as HvZIP3 and HvZIP8 were identified as being associated with low-grain-Cd-accumulation. In addition to advancing academic knowledge, our findings may also result in potential economic benefits for molecular breeding of low Cd accumulating barley and other crops.
Original languageEnglish
JournalB M C Plant Biology
Volume15
Issue259
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
ISSN1471-2229
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2015

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