Examining short-term responses to a long-term problem: RNA-seq analyses of iron deficiency chlorosis tolerant soybean

Adrienne N. Moran Lauter, Lindsay Rutter, Dianne Cook, Jamie A. O’Rourke, Michelle A. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC) is a global crop production problem, significantly impacting yield. However, most IDC studies have focused on model species, not agronomically important crops. Soybean is the second largest crop grown in the United States, yet the calcareous soils across most of the upper U.S. Midwest limit soybean growth and profitability. To understand early soybean iron stress responses, we conducted whole genome expression analyses (RNAsequencing) of leaf and root tissue from the iron efficient soybean (Glycine max) cultivar Clark, at 30, 60 and 120 min after transfer to iron stress conditions. We identified over 10,000 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), with the number of DEGs increasing over time in leaves, but decreasing over time in roots. To investigate these responses, we clustered our expression data across time to identify suites of genes, their biological functions, and the transcription factors (TFs) that regulate their expression. These analyses reveal the hallmarks of the soybean iron stress response (iron uptake and homeostasis, defense, and DNA replication and methylation) can be detected within 30 min. Furthermore, they suggest root to shoot signaling initiates early iron stress responses representing a novel paradigm for crop stress adaptations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3591
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Abiotic stress
  • Glycine max
  • Iron Deficiency Chlorosis (IDC)
  • Iron stress
  • Transcriptomics

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