Water deficit modulates gene expression in growing zones of soybean seedlings. Analysis of differentially expressed cDNAs, a new beta-tubulin gene, and expression of genes encoding cell wall proteins. Academic Article uri icon


  • Transfer of soybean seedlings to low-water-potential vermiculite (psi w = -0.3 MPa) results in a reversible decrease in hypocotyl growth and modulation of several polysomal mRNAs (Plant Physiol 92: 205-214). We report here the isolation of two cDNA clones (pGE16 and pGE95) which correspond to genes whose mRNA levels are increased, and one cDNA clone (pGE23) which corresponds to a gene whose mRNA level is decreased in the hypocotyl zone of cell elongation by water deficit. In well-watered seedlings mRNAs hybridizing to pGE16 and pGE95 are most abundant in mature regions of the seedling, but in water-deficient seedlings mRNA levels are reduced in mature regions and enhanced in elongating regions. RNA corresponding to soybean proline-rich protein 1 (sbPRP1) shows a similar tissue distribution and response to water deficit. In contrast, in well-watered seedlings, the gene corresponding to pGE23 was highly expressed in the hypocotyl and root growing zones. Transfer of seedlings to low-water-potential vermiculite caused a rapid decrease in mRNA hybridizing to pGE23. Sequence analysis revealed that pGE23 has high homology with beta-tubulin. Water deficit also reduced the level of mRNA hybridizing to JCW1, an auxin-modulated gene, although with different kinetics. Furthermore, mRNA encoding actin, glycine-rich proteins (GRPs), and hydroxyproline-rich glycoproteins (HRGPs) were down-regulated in the hypocotyl zone of elongation of seedlings exposed to water deficit. No effect of water deficit was observed on the expression of chalcone synthase. Decreased expression of beta-tubulin, actin, JCW1, HRGP and GRP and increased expression of sbPRP1, pGE95 and pGE16 in the hypocotyl zone of cell elongation could participate in the reversible growth inhibition observed in water-deficient soybean seedlings.

published proceedings

  • Plant Mol Biol

author list (cited authors)

  • Creelman, R. A., & Mullet, J. E.

citation count

  • 55

complete list of authors

  • Creelman, RA||Mullet, JE

publication date

  • October 1991