Characterization of ASR gene and its role in drought tolerance in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.)

Supriya Sachdeva, C. Bharadwaj, Rajesh Kumar Singh, P. K. Jain, B. S. Patil, Manish Roorkiwal, Rajeev Varshney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Chickpea has a profound nutritional and economic value in vegetarian society. Continuous decline in chickpea productivity is attributed to insufficient genetic variability and different environmental stresses. Chickpea like several other legumes is highly susceptible to terminal drought stress. Multiple genes control drought tolerance and ASR gene plays a key role in regulating different plant stresses. The present study describes the molecular characterization and functional role of Abscissic acid and stress ripening (ASR) gene from chickpea (Cicer arietinum) and the gene sequence identified was submitted to NCBI Genbank (MK937569). Molecular analysis using MUSCLE software proved that the ASR nucleotide sequences in different legumes show variations at various positions though ASR genes are conserved in chickpea with only few variations. Sequence similarity of ASR gene to chickpea putative ABA/WDS induced protein mRNA clearly indicated its potential involvement in drought tolerance. Physiological screening and qRT-PCR results demonstrated increased ASR gene expression under drought stress possibly enabled genotypes to perform better under stress. Conserved domain search, protein structure analysis, prediction and validation, network analysis using Phyre2, Swiss-PDB viewer, ProSA and STRING analysis established the role of hypothetical ASR protein NP_001351739.1 in mediating drought responses. NP_001351739.1 might have enhanced the ASR gene activity as a transcription factor regulating drought stress tolerance in chickpea. This study could be useful in identification of new ASR genes that play a major role in drought tolerance and also develop functional markers for chickpea improvement.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0234550
JournalPLoS One
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


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