A transcriptomic analysis of bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) provides novel insights into the basis of low temperature tolerance

Liang Chen, Jibiao Fan, Longxing Hu, Zhengrong Hu, Yan Xie, Yingzi Zhang, Yanhong Lou, Eviatar Nevo, Jinmin Fu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Cold stress is regarded as a key factor limiting widespread use for bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon). Therefore, to improve cold tolerance for bermudagrass, it is urgent to understand molecular mechanisms of bermudagrass response to cold stress. However, our knowledge about the molecular responses of this species to cold stress is largely unknown. The objective of this study was to characterize the transcriptomic response to low temperature in bermudagrass by using RNA-Seq platform. Results: Ten cDNA libraries were generated from RNA samples of leaves from five different treatments in the cold-resistant (R) and the cold-sensitive (S) genotypes, including 4°C cold acclimation (CA) for 24h and 48h, freezing (-5°C) treatments for 4h with or without prior CA, and controls. When subjected to cold acclimation, global gene expressions were initiated more quickly in the R genotype than those inthe S genotype. The R genotype activated gene expression more effectively in response to freezing temperature after 48h CA thanthe S genotype. The differentially expressed genes were identified as low temperature sensing and signaling-related genes, functional proteins and transcription factors, many of whichwere specifically or predominantly expressed inthe R genotype under cold treatments, implying that these genes play important roles in the enhanced cold hardiness of bermudagrass. KEGG pathway enrichment analysis for DEGs revealed that photosynthesis, nitrogen metabolism and carbon fixation pathways play key roles in bermudagrass response to cold stress. Conclusions: The results of this study may contribute to our understanding the molecular mechanism underlying the responses of bermudagrass to cold stress, and also provide important clues for further study and in-depth characterization of cold-resistance breeding candidate genes in bermudagrass.

Original languageEnglish
Article number216
JournalBMC Plant Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 11 Sep 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Chen et al.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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