High temperature stress results in yield loss and alterations to seed composition during seed filling in oilseed rape (Brassica napus). However, the mechanism underlying this heat response is poorly understood. In this study, global transcription profiles of 20 d-old siliques of B. napus were analyzed after heat stress using a Brassica 95k EST microarray. The up-regulated genes included many HSF/HSP transcripts and other heat-related marker genes, such as ROF2, DREB2a, MBF1c and Hsa32, reflecting the conservation of key heat resistance factors among plants. Other up-regulated genes were preferentially expressed in heat-stressed silique walls or seeds, including some transcription factors and potential developmental regulators. In contrast, down-regulated genes differed between the silique wall and seeds and were largely tied to the biological functions of each tissue, such as glucosinolate metabolism in the silique wall and flavonoid synthesis in seeds. Additionally, a large proportion (one-third) of these differentially expressed genes had unknown functions. Based on these gene expression profiles, Arabidopsis mutants for eight heat-induced Brassica homologous genes were treated with different heat stress methods, and thermotolerance varied with each mutation, heat stress regimen and plant development stage. At least two of the eight mutants exhibited sensitivity to the heat treatments, suggesting the importance of the respective genes in responding to heat stress. In summary, this study elucidated the molecular bases of the heat responses in siliques during later reproductive stages and provides valuable information and gene resources for the genetic improvement of heat tolerance in oilseed rape breeding.
Wang, Xuemin; Yu, Erru; Fan, Chuchuan; Yang, Qingyong; Li, Xiaodong; Wan, Bingxi; Dong, Yanni; and Zhou, Yongming, "Identification of Heat Responsive Genes in Brassica Napus Siliques at the Seed-Filling Stage Through Transcriptional Profiling" (2014). Biology Department Faculty Works. 23.