Metabolic alterations in conventional and genetically modified soybean plants with GmDREB2A;2 FL and GmDREB2A;2 CA transcription factors during water deficit.


Liliane Marcia Mertz-Henning


Embrapa Soja, Rodovia Carlos João Strass, Acesso Orlando Amaral, Warta, PO. Box 231, 86001-970, Londrina, PR, Brazil. Electronic address: [Email]


Water deficit is one of the main abiotic stress that affects plant growth and productivity. The GmDREB2A;2 (Glyma14g06080) gene is an important transcription factor involved in regulating the plants' responses under water deficit. In previous studies, soybean plants overexpressing full-length (GmDREB2A;2 FL) and constitutively active (GmDREB2A;2 CA) forms of the GmDREB2A;2 gene, presented higher tolerance to water deficit when compared with the conventional cultivar BRS 283. Therefore, identifying the changes in metabolite profile in these tolerant genotypes can contribute to the understanding of the metabolic pathways involved in the tolerance mechanism. In this work, the metabolic changes in roots and leaves of genetically modified (GM) soybean plants subjected to water deficit were elucidated by 1H-NMR spectroscopy. Three events were analyzed, one containing the gene in FL form (GmDREB2A;2 FL) and two presenting its CA form (GmDREB2A;2 CA-1 and GmDREB2A;2 CA-2) and compared with the conventional cultivar BRS 283. The results indicated different responses between leaves and roots for all genotypes. Most of these metabolic variations were related to carbohydrate and amino acid pathways. BRS 283 stood out with higher accumulation of amino acids in leaves under water deficit. The results also showed that the events GmDREB2A;2 FL and GmDREB2A;2 CA-1 presented higher concentrations of β-glucose and fructose in leaves, whereas BRS 283 accumulated more sucrose and pinitol. In roots, the GM events accumulated higher β-glucose, fructose, asparagine and phenylalanine, when compared with the conventional cultivar. These insights can add information on how the transcription factor (TF) DREB2A acts in soybean plants triggering and controlling a network of complex responses to drought.


DREB2A,Drought tolerance,Glycine max,Metabolic responses,Transcription factor,