Morphological features of different polyploids for adaptation and molecular characterization of CC-NBS-LRR and LEA gene families in Agave L.

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MC Tamayo-Ordóñez, LC Rodriguez-Zapata, JA Narváez-Zapata, YJ Tamayo-Ordóñez, BA Ayil-Gutiérrez, F Barredo-Pool, LF Sánchez-Teyer. (2016). Journal of Plant Physiology, 195: 80-94. DOI: 1016/j.jplph.2016.03.009.

Polyploidy has been widely described in many Agave L. species, but its influence on environmental response to stress is still unknown. With the objective of knowing the morphological adaptations and regulation responses of genes related to biotic (LEA) and abiotic (NBS-LRR) stress in species of Agave with different levels of ploidy, and how these factors contribute to major response of Agave against environmental stresses, we analyzed 16 morphological trials on five accessions of three species (Agave tequilana
Weber, Agave angustifolia Haw. and Agave fourcroydes Lem.) with different ploidy levels (2n = 2x = 60 2n = 3x = 90, 2n = 5x = 150, 2n = 6x = 180) and evaluated the expression of NBS-LRR and LEA genes regulated by biotic and abiotic stress. It was possible to associate some morphological traits (spines, nuclei, and stomata) to ploidy level. The genetic characterization of stress-related genes NBS-LRR induced by pathogenic infection and LEA by heat or saline stresses indicated that amino acid sequence analysis in these genes showed more substitutions in higher ploidy level accessions of A. fourcroydes Lem. ‘Sac Ki’ (2n = 5x = 150) and A. angustifolia Haw. ‘Chelem Ki’ (2n = 6x = 180), and a higher LEA and NBS-LRR representativeness when compared to their diploid and triploid counterparts. In all studied Agave accessions expression of LEA and NBS-LRR genes was induced by saline or heat stresses or by infection with Erwinia carotovora, respectively. The transcriptional activation was also higher in A. angustifolia Haw. ‘Chelem Ki’ (2n = 6x = 180) and A. fourcroydes ‘Sac Ki’ (2n = 5x = 150) than in their diploid and triploid counterparts, which suggests higher adaptation to stress. Finally, the diploid accession A. tequilana Weber ‘Azul’ showed a differentiated genetic profile relative to other Agave accessions. The differences include similar or higher genetic representativeness and transcript accumulation of LEA and NBS-LRR genes than in polyploid (2n = 5x = 150 and 2n = 6x = 180) Agave accessions, thus suggesting a differentiated selection pressure for overcoming the lower ploidy level of the diploid A. tequilana Weber ‘Azul’.

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