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SAGE Analysis of Transcriptome Responses in Arabidopsis Roots Exposed to 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene1

The American Society for Plant Biologists
Publication Date
  • Research Article
  • Biology


Serial analysis of gene expression was used to profile transcript levels in Arabidopsis roots and assess their responses to 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) exposure. SAGE libraries representing control and TNT-exposed seedling root transcripts were constructed, and each was sequenced to a depth of roughly 32,000 tags. More than 19,000 unique tags were identified overall. The second most highly induced tag (27-fold increase) represented a glutathione S-transferase. Cytochrome P450 enzymes, as well as an ABC transporter and a probable nitroreductase, were highly induced by TNT exposure. Analyses also revealed an oxidative stress response upon TNT exposure. Although some increases were anticipated in light of current models for xenobiotic metabolism in plants, evidence for unsuspected conjugation pathways was also noted. Identifying transcriptome-level responses to TNT exposure will better define the metabolic pathways plants use to detoxify this xenobiotic compound, which should help improve phytoremediation strategies directed at TNT and other nitroaromatic compounds.

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