Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 87, Issue 1, pp 39–54 | Cite as

Leaf epidermis transcriptome reveals drought-Induced hormonal signaling for stomatal regulation in wild barley

  • Guang Chen
  • Yuanyuan Wang
  • Xiaolei Wang
  • Qian Yang
  • Xiaoyan Quan
  • Jianbin Zeng
  • Fei Dai
  • Fanrong Zeng
  • Feibo Wu
  • Guoping Zhang
  • Zhong-Hua ChenEmail author
Original Paper


Drought is one of the major abiotic stresses affecting crop yields. Understanding drought tolerance mechanism is pivotal for developing drought tolerant crop cultivars. Here, two Tibetan annual wild barley genotypes XZ5 (drought-tolerant) and XZ54 (drought-sensitive) were tested in this study. Gas exchange, stomatal parameters and yield analyses showed that XZ5 has superior drought tolerance than XZ54. Genome-wide transcriptome analysis with epidermal cell layer of XZ5 and XZ54 identified a total of 6,627 genes as drought-induced differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between the two genotypes. The key DEGs could be classified into abscisic acid, brassinosteroid, jasmonic acid, gibberellins, auxin indole-3-acetic acid pathways, reactive oxygen species signaling, Ca2+ signaling, nitric oxide signaling, stomatal development and membrane transport. Moreover, we discovered unique crosstalks among phytohormone pathways, cellular signaling and membrane transport, which are better regulated in the drought tolerant genotype XZ5. For instance, brassinosteroid may participate in co-regulation of stomatal movement with Abscisic acid through suppressing the expression of Brassinosteroid Insensitive 1-Associated Receptor Kinase (HvBAK) to release the interaction target Open Stomata 1 (HvOST1) in barley epidermal layers. This study provides some tissue-specific insights into the role of a crucial layer of cells—leaf epidermis for drought tolerance in the wild progenitors of cultivated barley.


Drought tolerance Guard cell Gene expression Stomatal movement Hordeum spontaneum 



We thank Dr. Gulei Jin and Dr. Bohan Liu for their technical support and David Randall (Western Sydney University, Australia) for language editing. This work is funded by the Natural Science Foundation of China (31571578, 31371559 and 31620103912), the Chinese 1000-Plan Project, the Dabeinong Funds for Discipline Development and Talent Training in Zhejiang University, the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, the Australian Research Council Discovery Projects and Discovery Early Career Researcher Award Programs (DE1401011143).

Supplementary material

10725_2018_450_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (69 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 69 KB)
10725_2018_450_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (720 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (XLSX 720 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guang Chen
    • 1
  • Yuanyuan Wang
    • 1
  • Xiaolei Wang
    • 1
  • Qian Yang
    • 1
  • Xiaoyan Quan
    • 2
  • Jianbin Zeng
    • 1
  • Fei Dai
    • 1
  • Fanrong Zeng
    • 1
  • Feibo Wu
    • 1
  • Guoping Zhang
    • 1
  • Zhong-Hua Chen
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Agriculture and BiotechnologyZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  2. 2.School of Biological Science and TechnologyUniversity of JinanJinanChina
  3. 3.School of Science and HealthWestern Sydney UniversityPenrithAustralia

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