Genome-wide identification and analysis of Japonica and Indica cultivar-preferred transcripts in rice using 983 Affymetrix array data
Rice is a very important food staple that feeds more than half the world's population. Two major Asian cultivated rice (Oryza sativa L.) subspecies, japonica and indica, show significant phenotypic variation in their stress responses. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this phenotypic variation are still largely unknown. A common link among different stresses is that they produce an oxidative burst and result in an increase of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In this study, methyl viologen (MV) as a ROS agent was applied to investigate the rice oxidative stress response. We observed that 93-11 (indica) seedlings exhibited leaf senescence with severe lesions under MV treatment compared to Nipponbare (japonica). Whole-genome microarray experiments were conducted, and 1,062 probe sets were identified with gene expression level polymorphisms between the two rice cultivars in addition to differential expression under MV treatment, which were assigned as Core Intersectional Probesets (CIPs). These CIPs were analyzed by gene ontology (GO) and highlighted with enrichment GO terms related to toxin and oxidative stress responses as well as other responses. These GO term-enriched genes of the CIPs include glutathine S-transferases (GSTs), P450, plant defense genes, and secondary metabolism related genes such as chalcone synthase (CHS). Further insertion/deletion (InDel) and regulatory element analyses for these identified CIPs suggested that there may be some eQTL hotspots related to oxidative stress in the rice genome, such as GST genes encoded on chromosome 10. In addition, we identified a group of marker genes individuating the japonica and indica subspecies. In summary, we developed a new strategy combining biological experiments and data mining to study the possible molecular mechanism of phenotypic variation during oxidative stress between Nipponbare and 93-11. This study will aid in the analysis of the molecular basis of quantitative traits.