Cement dust is a major particulate air pollutants and can cause negative impacts on plant growth and development. The molecular bases of plant responses to cement dust are not elucidated. Therefore, a transcriptome analysis of Arabidopsis in response to cement dust was performed. In the present study, researchers from Al-Balqa’ Applied University exposed seedlings of Arabidopsis thaliana to cement dust at a rate of 1.5 g per 1 m2 area. Total RNA from control and cement-dust treated plants were used for transcriptome analysis using GeneChip® Arabidopsis ATH1 Genome Array. In response to cement dust application, the transcriptional profiling identified 1599 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) using a two-fold cutoff. Of these DEGs, 831 were up-regulated, and 768 were down-regulated. Differential expression of 15 genes from this list was validated using qRT-PCR. Gene ontology analysis using AgriGo program revealed that a large proportion of up-regulated DEGs are related to response to stimulus, response to stress, response to chemical stimulus, transcription factor activity, hydrolase activity, and carboxylesterase activity. While, a large proportion of down-regulated DEGs were mainly in the following categories: biosynthetic process, biological regulation, and response to stimulus, nucleic acid binding, transcription regulator activity, transcription factor activity, organelle lumen, nuclear lumen, and nucleolus. The DEGs up-regulated in response to cement dust include a set of reactive oxygen species scavenging enzymes (e.g., ascorbate peroxidase 2, peroxidases, glutathione S-transferases), heat shock proteins, late embryogenesis abundant proteins, ∆1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthase 1, as well as transcription factor genes of different families. This study is the first to provide a global view of the transcriptomic profiling of Arabidopsis in response to cement dust. The results will be helpful for better understanding the molecular basis for plant responses to cement dust pollution.

Abu-Romman S, Alzubi J. (2016) Transcriptome analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana in response to cement dust. Genes & Genomics 38(9):865–878. [article]

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