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Generation of guard cell RNA-seq transcriptomes during progressive drought and recovery using an adapted INTACT protocol for Arabidopsis thaliana shoot tissue

By Anna van Weringh, Asher Pasha, Eddi Esteban, Paul J. Gamueda, Nicholas J. Provart

Posted 15 Apr 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.04.15.439991

Drought is an important environmental stress that limits crop production. Guard cells (GC) act to control the rate of water loss. To better understand how GCs change their gene expression during a progressive drought we generated guard cell-specific RNA-seq transcriptomes during mild, moderate, and severe drought stress. We additionally sampled re-watered plants that had experienced severe drought stress. These transcriptomes were generated using the INTACT system to capture the RNA from GC nuclei. We optimized the INTACT protocol for Arabidopsis thaliana leaf tissue, incorporating fixation to preserve RNA during nuclear isolation. To be able to identify gene expression changes unique to GCs, we additionally generated transcriptomes from all cell types, using a 35S viral promoter to capture the nuclei of all cell types in leaves. These data sets highlight shared and unique gene expression changes between GCs and the bulk leaf tissue. The timing of gene expression changes is different between GCs and other cell types: we found that only GCs had detectable gene expression changes at the earliest drought time point. The drought responsive GC and leaf RNA-seq transcriptomes are available in the Arabidopsis ePlant at the Bio-Analytic Resource for Plant Biology website.

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