In-silico prediction of novel genes responsive to drought and salinity stress tolerance in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum)
Common wheat (Triticum aestivum) is the most widely grown cereal crop and is cultivated extensively in dry regions. Water shortage, resulting from either drought or salinity, leads to slow growth and loss of wheat yield. In order to predict new genes responsive to the drought and salt stresses in wheat, 6,717 expressed sequence tags (ESTs), expressed in drought and salinity stress conditions were collected from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). The downloaded ESTs were clustered and assembled into 354 contigs; 14 transcription factor families in 29 contigs were identified. In addition, 119 contigs were organized in five enzyme classes. Biological functions were obtained for only 324 of the 354 contigs using gene ontology. In addition, using Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes database, 191 metabolic pathways were identified. The remaining contigs were used for further analysis and the search for new genes responsive to drought and salt stresses. These contigs were mapped on the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium RefSeq v1.0 assembly, the most complete version of the reference sequence of the bread wheat variety Chinese Spring. They were found to have from one to three locations on the subgenomes A, B, and D. Full-length gene sequences were designed for these contigs, which were further validated using promoter analysis. These predicted genes may have applications in molecular breeding programs and wheat drought and salinity research.