Drought stress differentially regulates the expression of small open reading frames (sORFs) in Arabidopsis roots and shoots

Characterizing the molecular mechanisms governing the response of plant roots and shoots to drought stress could aid the development of strategies aiming to ameliorate drought stress. Small open reading frames (sORFs), putatively encoding small peptides, may play a significant role in the response to different abiotic stresses. Microarray analyses revealed that after 5, 7 and 9 d of a drought treatment, 2, 77, and 104 sORFs were up-regulated in roots, respectively; while the number of upregulated sORFs in shoots was 12, 45, and 158, respectively. RT-qPCR analysis confirmed the up-regulated expression of ATRIKEN29196 and ATRIKEN32280 specifically in roots. The identified upregulated sORFs, particularly those in roots, may contribute to drought stress tolerance.