Differential accumulation of dehydrins in response to water stress for hybrid and common bermudagrass genotypes differing in drought tolerance

Longxing Hu, Zhaolong Wang, Hongmei Du, Bingru Huang

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Expression of dehydrin proteins may be induced or enhanced by environmental stresses that lead to cell dehydration. The objective of the this study was to investigate genetic variation in dehydrin protein accumulation in response to drought stress of whole-plants or dehydration of detached leaves and to identify dehydrins differentially expressed in bermudagrass (Cynodon spp.) genotypes differing in drought tolerance. Plants of four hybrid bermudagrass (Cynodondactylon L. × Cynodontransvaalensis L.) ('Tifway', 'Tifdwarf', 'Tifeagle', 'Kan1') and four common bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) ('C299', 'Sportbermuda', 'H10', and 'H19') genotypes were subjected to 14 d of drought stress and detached leaves of two genotypes were exposed to dehydration in growth chambers. Turf quality and leaf relative water content (RWC) decreased while electrolyte leakage (EL) increased during whole-plant drought stress for all genotypes, with more pronounced changes in each parameter for 'C299' and 'Tifeagle' than those for other genotypes ('Tifway', 'Kan 1', 'Sportbermuda', 'H10', and H19'), suggesting that the former two genotypes were more sensitive to drought stress than the other genotypes. During dehydration of detached leaves, relative water loss rate (RWL) was significantly lower in drought-tolerant 'Tifway' than in drought-sensitive 'C299'. Immunoblotting analysis indicated that no dehydrin polypeptides were detected in all genotypes under well-watered conditions. A 24-kDa polypeptide was detected in 'C299' at 6 d of drought, but not in the other genotypes. The dehydrin polypeptides of about 14-74 kDa accumulated at 10 d of drought stress and in a range of RWL for detached leaves, and two dehydrins (31 and 40 kDa) exhibited differential accumulation in the drought-sensitive 'C299' and tolerant 'Tifway', as demonstrated by the whole-plant drought responses. The 31-kDa dehydrin polypeptide was present only in 'Tifway' and 'H19' at 10 d of drought stress, and accumulated with the increasing RWL in detached leaves of 'Tifway'. The expression level of 40-kDa dehydrin polypeptides was greater in 'Tifway'' than in 'C299' at the same level of water deficit (from 10% to 65% RWL). These results indicated that the accumulation of 31- and 40-kDa dehydrins may contribute to drought or dehydration tolerance in warm-season bermudagrass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-109
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Plant Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


  • Bermudagrass
  • Dehydrin
  • Drought tolerance


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