Gene Expression Analysis of TaDREB1 in Egyptian Wheat (Triticum aestivum) Cultivars under Drought Stress

Document Type : Original Article


1 Genetics department,Faculty of Agriculture (EL-Shatby),Alexandria University,Alexandria,Egypt.

2 Nucleic Acid Research Department, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Research Institute, City of Scientific Research and Technological Applications (SRTA-City), New Borg El-Arab City, Alexandria, Egypt.

3 Plant Production Department, Arid Lands Cultivation Research Institute (ALCRI), City of Scientific Research and Technological Applications (SRTA-City), New Borg El-Arab City, Alexandria 21934, Egypt.

4 Genetics Department, Faculty of Agriculture (El-Shatby), Alexandria, Egypt.


Plants encounter various stressors, including salinity, drought, and pathogens, which can hinder growth and cause mortality, ultimately reducing crop yields globally. Understanding plant resistance mechanisms is crucial for enhancing resilience, promoting growth, and improving crop yield and quality, especially in the face of widespread phenomena like drought. DREB proteins (Dehydration-Responsive Element Binding), crucial transcription factors in plants, regulate genes essential for drought, high salinity, and low-temperature stress responses via binding to DRE/CRT elements. These factors have been employed to enhance wheat's drought tolerance, thus resulting in improved growth, yield, and physiological traits. In this context, the current study aimed to investigate how PEG-induced drought affects the transcript expression levels of TaDREB1-A, TaDREB1-B, and TaDREB1-D genes in seven Egyptian wheat cultivars, which exhibit varying degrees of drought resilience. Our findings reveal that the expression of the TDREB1-A gene was upregulated in three of the seven wheat cultivars (Sakha94, Sakha95, and Shandweel-1), demonstrating distinct levels of drought tolerance, while downregulated in the remaining four genotypes. Notably, TaDREB1-B and TaDREB1-D showed upregulation in one genotype (Shandweel-1) but downregulation in the other six genotypes. Thus, it deserves to be mentioned that Shandweel-1 is the promising cultivar to be introduced in breeding programs for drought tolerance improvement, and the highest correlation between the relative expression of DREB1 genes and relative water content (RWC) was recorded for TaDREB1-A. These results underscore the complex regulation of DREB1 gene expression within hexaploid wheat cultivars under drought stress, highlighting the need for further comprehensive investigations into the underlying regulatory mechanisms.


Main Subjects