Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 80, Issue 6, pp 587–608 | Cite as

Transcriptomic changes and signalling pathways induced by arsenic stress in rice roots

  • Tsai-Lien Huang
  • Quynh Thi Thuy Nguyen
  • Shih-Feng Fu
  • Chung-Yi Lin
  • Ying-Chih Chen
  • Hao-Jen Huang


Arsenic (As) is considered the most common toxic metalloid, but its molecular mode of action is not well understood. We investigated whether arsenate [As(V)] can induce intracellular reactive oxygen species production and calcium oscillation in rice roots. To better understand the molecular basis of plant cell responses to As, we performed a large-scale analysis of the rice transcriptome during As(V) stress. As(V) induced genes involved in abiotic stress, detoxification pathways and secondary metabolic process. Genes involved in secondary cell wall biogenesis, cell cycle and oligopeptide transport were mainly downregulated. Genes encoding signalling components such as receptor-like cytoplasmic kinases protein kinase, APETALA2/ethylene response factor, heat shock factor, MYB and zinc-finger protein expressed in inflorescence meristem transcription factors were increased in expression. The expression of GARP-G2-like and C3H transcription factors was specifically modulated by As(V) stress. The predominant families of As(V)-regulated transporters belonged to the ATP-binding cassette superfamily and telurite-resistance/dicarboxylate transporters. Several factors involved in signaling, such as mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), MAPK kinase kinase and calcium-dependent protein kinase (CDPK), were also upregulated. Moreover, As(V) markedly increased the activity of MAPKs and CDPK-like kinases, and CDPK and NADPH oxidases were involved in As-induced MAPK activation. Further characterization of these As(V)-responsive genes and signalling pathways may help better understand the mechanisms of metalloid uptake, tolerance and detoxification in plants.


Arsenate CDPK MAPK NADPH oxidase Signalling Transcriptome 



Abscissic acid

ABC superfamily

ATP-binding cassette superfamily


Alterative oxidase


APETALA2/ethylene response factor












Cyclin-dependent kinase


Ca2+-dependent protein kinase




5-(and-6)-Chloromethyl-2′,7′-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate, acetyl ester


Beta-mannan synthase-like


Dehydroascorbate reductase


Diphenylene iodonium


Elongation factor 1 gamma


False discovery rate




Glycoside hydrolases 9




Gene ontology


Glutathione reductase


Glycosyl transferases (pectin bios.)




Glutathione S-transferase


Heat shock factor


Inductively coupled plasma-atmoic emission spectrometry


Jasmonic acid


Mitogen-activated protein kinase


MAPK kinase kinase


Myelin basic protein

MC family transporter

Mitochondrial carrier family transporter

MVA pathway

Mevalonic acid pathway




Proton-dependent oligopeptide transporter family


Class III peroxidase


Quantitative RT-PCR

RLCK subfamily

Receptor-like cytoplasmic kinases subfamily

RLK family

Receptor-like kinase family


Reactive oxygen species


Tetrachlorohydroquinone dehalogenase




Transcription factors




Xyloglucan galactosyltransferases


Xyloglucan endotransglycosylases/hydrolases


Xyloglucan xylosyltransferases and galactomannan galactosyltransferases

ZIM transcription factor

Zinc-finger protein expressed in inflorescence meristem transcription factor



This work was supported by research grants from NSC and Ministry of Eudcation. Microarray assays were performed by the DNA Microarray Core Laboratory at the Institute of Plant and Microbial Biology, Academia Sinica. Data mining performed at the Bioinformatics Core for Genomic Medicine and Biotechnology Development at NCKU, supported by NSC (97-3112-B-006-011). Furthermore, we thank Ms. Laura Smales (Canada) for English editing.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tsai-Lien Huang
    • 1
  • Quynh Thi Thuy Nguyen
    • 1
  • Shih-Feng Fu
    • 2
  • Chung-Yi Lin
    • 1
  • Ying-Chih Chen
    • 1
  • Hao-Jen Huang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Life SciencesNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainan CityTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of BiologyNational Changhua University of EducationChanghua CityTaiwan

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