Modulation of cell cycle progression and chromatin dynamic as tolerance mechanisms to salinity and drought stress in maize. Academic Article uri icon


  • Salinity and drought are the major abiotic stresses that disturb several aspects of maize plants growth at the cellular level, one of these aspects is cell cycle machinery. In our study, we dissected the molecular alterations and downstream effectors of salinity and drought stress on cell cycle regulation and chromatin remodeling. Effects of salinity and drought stress were determined on maize seedlings using 200mM NaCl (induced salinity stress), and 250mM mannitol (induced drought stress) treatments, then cell cycle progression and chromatin remodeling dynamics were investigated. Seedlings displayed severe growth defects, including inhibition of root growth. Interestingly, stress treatments induced cell cycle arrest in S-phase with extensive depletion of cyclins B1 and A1. Further investigation of gene expression profiles of cell cycle regulators showed the downregulation of the CDKA, CDKB, CYCA, and CYCB. These results reveal the direct link between salinity and drought stress and cell cycle deregulation leading to a low cell proliferation rate. Moreover, abiotic stress alters chromatin remodeling dynamic in a way that directs the cell cycle arrest. We observed low DNA methylation patterns accompanied by dynamic histone modifications that favor chromatin decondensation. Also, the high expression of DNA topoisomerase 2, 6 family was detected as consequence of DNA damage. In conclusion, in response to salinity and drought stress, maize seedlings exhibit modulation of cell cycle progression, resulting in the cell cycle arrest through chromatin remodeling.

published proceedings

  • Physiol Plant

altmetric score

  • 4.6

author list (cited authors)

  • Kamal, K. Y., Khodaeiaminjan, M., Yahya, G., El-Tantawy, A. A., Abdel El-Moneim, D., El-Esawi, M. A., Abd-Elaziz, M., & Nassrallah, A. A.

citation count

  • 29

complete list of authors

  • Kamal, Khaled Y||Khodaeiaminjan, Mortaza||Yahya, Galal||El-Tantawy, Ahmed A||Abdel El-Moneim, Diaa||El-Esawi, Mohamed A||Abd-Elaziz, Mohamed AA||Nassrallah, Amr A

publication date

  • June 2021