Functional genomics of thermal stress tolerance in Indian wheat
Towards understanding the molecular mechanisms of heat stress tolerance, we have analyzed heat stressed substractive cDNA libraries and undertaken genome-wide transcriptome exploration for genes associated with spike photosynthetic efficiency during thermal stress. The photosynthetic efficiencies of Aegilops tauschii and Ae. speltoides were also compared. While the former displayed nearly complete recovery of PSII, the adverse effect was more pronounced in the latter. Functional characterization of heat stress-associated transcription factors and thermal stress-associated proteins was also undertaken e.g. TaHSF, TabZIP, TaZnF and TaMIPS, and TaLTPs in the Indian wheat germplasm. Functional characterization of the three heat stress transcription factors was upregulated under high temperatures and other abiotic stresses. They also showed early flowering and better performance with respect to their growth and yield after heat stress. Additionally, we have identified various interacting components associated with thermal stress-mediated plant signaling partners during thermal stress.