Isolation and characterization of drought-responsive genes from peanut roots by suppression subtractive hybridization
Background Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) is an important economic and oilseed crop. Long-term rainless conditions and seasonal droughts can limit peanut yields and were conducive to preharvest aflatoxin contamination. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which peanut responds and adapts to water limited conditions, we isolated and characterized several drought-induced genes from peanut roots using a suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) technique. Results RNA was extracted from peanut roots subjected to a water stress treatment (45% field capacity) and from control plants (75% field capacity), and used to generate an SSH cDNA library. A total of 111 non-redundant sequences were obtained, with 80 unique transcripts showing homology to known genes and 31 clones with no similarity to either hypothetical or known proteins. GO and KEGG analyses of these differentially expressed ESTs indicated that drought-related responses in peanut could mainly be attributed to genes involved in cellular structure and metabolism. In addition, we examined the expression patterns of seven differentially expressed candidate genes using real-time reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) and confirmed that all were up-regulated in roots in response to drought stress, but to differing extents. Conclusions We successfully constructed an SSH cDNA library in peanut roots and identified several drought-related genes. Our results serve as a foundation for future studies into the elucidation of the drought stress response mechanisms of peanut.