Summer Research Fellowship Programme of India's Science Academies

Study of the heat stress responses in Arabidopsis thaliana

Aswathi Narayanan

Kannur University, Kerala

Prof. Anil Grover

Department of Plant Molecular Biology, University of Delhi, South Campus, New Delhi


Elevated temperature affects organisms at both the physiological as well as the molecular level. Since plants are sessile they cannot escape the biotic and abiotic stresses as animals do. Heat stress is one of the major abiotic stresses that plants encounter. It decreases crop productivity, development and yield of the plant. It also causes proteins to mis-fold and dysfunction. They lead to high transpiration rates and low plant water potentials, and extreme temperature can even cause the death of the plant. Because a large amount of genome resources information is available in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, it is used widely to understand the molecular and physiological responses of plants towards various abiotic stresses. This plant is used because of its low genome size of 135 Mbp, short life cycle, self-compatibility and the availability of genome information. Mutants of Arabidopsis are available in TAIR making this plant more important for doing genetic studies. Various reports are available showing the effect of heat stress in Arabidopsis. In our work, we are using an important SAG (Stress Associated Gene) mutant to see the role of this gene in maintaining thermotolerance during high temperature stress. SAGs have an essential role in tolerance to high temperature in several organisms. Deletion of SAG in Saccharomyces cerevisiae reduces the ability of cells to survive high-temperature exposure. SAG is a molecular chaperone that is required for the development of thermotolerance in plants and other organisms. We are working on how two different allelic mutants respond to the high temperature stress. For this we need to standardize the heat stress basal and the acquired thermotolerance assay with these plants. Then we standardize the method of hormone isolation and finally we do different hormone analyses to see the changes in them after heat stress in SAG mutant and its wild type background.

Keywords: Heat stress, Arabidopsis, SAG, Hormone, Basal thermotolerance and Acquired thermotolerance

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