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Times New Roman, 14, bold, center Foito, A1,2,3 Byrne, S1 Stewart, D2 Barth, S1

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Transcriptional and metabolic profiles in Lolium perenne L. genotypes with differential physiological responses to a PEG induced drought stress

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Foito, A1,2,3 Byrne, S1 Stewart, D2 Barth, S1

(Times New Roman 12, bold, centre)
1Plant Biotechnology Unit, Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow, Ireland. 2Plant Products and Food Quality, SCRI, Invergowrie, Dundee DD2 5DA, Scotland, United Kingdom. 3 Division of Environmental and Applied Biology, University of Dundee, Dow Street, Dundee DD1 5EH, United Kingdom.

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Perennial ryegrass is of great economic importance to the leisure industries and Irish agriculture, accounting for 90% of the agricultural land. One of the objectives of breeding programs is to produce improved cultivars with a response for an increasing range of specific uses/situations. A stepwise approach has been conducted to investigate the transcriptional basis of phenotypic and metabolic plasticity to drought for a set of perennial ryegrass accessions. An ecotype, noted for drought tolerance, was obtained from the USDA GRIN database and was used together with a commercial variety to investigate metabolomic and transcriptional profiles under a PEG induced drought stress. Hydroponics based experiments showed the drought tolerant ecotype to increase root biomass in response to a drought stress and maintain a higher relative water content (RWC) relative to the variety. The use of suppression subtractive hybridisation combined with real-time RT-PCR has enabled the identification of transcripts up-regulated in the drought tolerant ecotype. The use of GC-TOF-MS has facilitated the identification of changes in the metabolome of perennial ryegrass under drought stress in both root and leaf tissue.
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