Mining expressed sequence tags of rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) to predict the drought responsive regulatory network Academic Article uri icon


  • It is of great significance to understand the regulatory mechanisms by which plants deal with drought stress. Two EST libraries derived from rapeseed (Brassica napus) leaves in non-stressed and drought stress conditions were analyzed in order to obtain the transcriptomic landscape of drought-exposed B. napus plants, and also to identify and characterize significant drought responsive regulatory genes and microRNAs. The functional ontology analysis revealed a substantial shift in the B. napus transcriptome to govern cellular drought responsiveness via different stress-activated mechanisms. The activity of transcription factor and protein kinase modules generally increased in response to drought stress. The 26 regulatory genes consisting of 17 transcription factor genes, eight protein kinase genes and one protein phosphatase gene were identified showing significant alterations in their expressions in response to drought stress. We also found the six microRNAs which were differentially expressed during drought stress supporting the involvement of a post-transcriptional level of regulation for B. napus drought response. The drought responsive regulatory network shed light on the significance of some regulatory components involved in biosynthesis and signaling of various plant hormones (abscisic acid, auxin and brassinosteroids), ubiquitin proteasome system, and signaling through Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). Our findings suggested a complex and multi-level regulatory system modulating response to drought stress in B. napus.

publication date

  • 2015