Transcriptome and Co-Expression Network Analyses Identify the Molecular Signatures Underlying Drought Resistance in Yellowhorn
Drought is a key factor that limits plant growth and yield. Yellowhorn is an important and vigorously promoted oil tree in China. It can survive under certain drought conditions, but a lack of water severely restricts its growth and results in yield losses in arid and semi-arid areas. Therefore, it is important to identify the key pathways and genes to understand the mechanisms of its drought resistance. In this study, we evaluated drought resistance in four types of yellowhorn, and obtained
... rn, and obtained 2669 and 2451 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) via the transcriptome analysis of the comparison of water-saving/water-consuming and fast-growing/slow-growing yellowhorn, respectively, under long-term drought conditions. The gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analyses of DEGs showed the key biological processes and metabolic pathways involved in drought resistance, which demonstrated that there are both the same and different biological processes involved in regulating water use efficiency (WUE) and growth in response to drought stress. Furthermore, the network analysis indicated hub genes (especially seven protein kinases) and potential co-expressed gene clusters in a greenyellow module associated with WUE and a blue module associated with growth. These identified hub genes and key biological processes can significantly enhance our knowledge about the molecular mechanisms of drought resistance in yellowhorn.