The University of Arizona

Characterizing gene response to drought stress in fourwing saltbush [Atriplex canescens (Pursh.) Nutt.].

L.S. Adair, D.L. Andrews, J. Cairney, E.A. Funkhouser, R.J. Newton, E.F. Aldon


New techniques in molecular biology can be used to characterize genes whose expression is induced by drought stress. These techniques can be used to understand responses of range plants to environmental stresses at the biochemical and molecular level. For example, they can be used to characterize genes that respond to drought stress conditions in the native shrub Atriplex canescens (Pursh.) Nutt. Complementary DNA (cDNA) libraries constructed from drought-induced messenger RNA (poly A+ RNA) were used to characterize genes which are associated with the stress response. A cDNA library from A. canescens was prepared. This library from stressed shrubs was differentially screened with radiolabeled cDNA probes from stressed and nonstressed shrubs, and apparent drought-induced clones were identified. This is the first report of molecular characterization of drought responsive genes in four-wing saltbush. The identification of genes specific to responses to drought stress could provide a basis for understanding drought tolerance in this important range species.


gene expression;genes;DNA libraries;molecular biology;complementary DNA;characterization;stress response;genetic variation;drought tolerance;Atriplex canescens;water stress

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