Comprehensive Transcriptome Profiling Uncovers Molecular Mechanisms and Potential Candidate Genes Associated with Heat Stress Response in Chickpea

Kudapa, H and Barmukh, R and Garg, V and Chitikineni, A and Samineni, S and Agarwal, G and Varshney, R K (2023) Comprehensive Transcriptome Profiling Uncovers Molecular Mechanisms and Potential Candidate Genes Associated with Heat Stress Response in Chickpea. International Journal of Molecular Sciences (TSI), 24 (1369). pp. 1-20. ISSN 1422-0067

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Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) production is highly susceptible to heat stress (day/night temperatures above 32/20 �C). Identifying the molecular mechanisms and potential candidate genes underlying heat stress response is important for increasing chickpea productivity. Here, we used an RNA-seq approach to investigate the transcriptome dynamics of 48 samples which include the leaf and root tissues of six contrasting heat stress responsive chickpea genotypes at the vegetative and reproductive stages of plant development. A total of 14,544 unique, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified across different combinations studied. These DEGs were mainly involved in metabolic processes, cell wall remodeling, calcium signaling, and photosynthesis. Pathway analysis revealed the enrichment of metabolic pathways, biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, and plant hormone signal transduction, under heat stress conditions. Furthermore, heat-responsive genes encoding bHLH, ERF, WRKY, and MYB transcription factors were differentially regulated in response to heat stress, and candidate genes underlying the quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for heat tolerance component traits, which showed differential gene expression across tolerant and sensitive genotypes, were identified. Our study provides an important resource for dissecting the role of candidate genes associated with heat stress response and also paves the way for developing climate-resilient chickpea varieties for the future.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Global Research Program - Accelerated Crop Improvement
Uncontrolled Keywords: Legumes, Cicer arietinum, Candidate genes, differentially expressed genes (DEGs), Heat stress, Molecular mechanisms, RNA-seq, Signaling pathways
Subjects: Mandate crops > Chickpea
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh MNR
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2023 08:22
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 08:22
Official URL:
Funders: This research was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, grant number (OPP1114827), through the Tropical Legumes III project. The APC was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Acknowledgement: RKV is thankful to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (OPP1114827) for supporting Tropical Legumes III project, and Science & Engineering Research Board (SERB) of Department of Science and Technology (DST) Government of India for providing the J. C. Bose National Fellowship (SB/S9/Z-13/2019). HB is thankful to the SERB of DST, Government of India, for providing SERB Women Excellence Award (SB/WEA-01/2017). RB acknowledges funding support from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Government of India, for the award of a research fellowship.
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