Recovering from iron deficiency chlorosis in near-isogenic soybeans: A microarray study

Jamie A. O'Rourke, Michelle A. Graham, Lila Vodkin, Delkin Orlando Gonzalez, Silvia R. Cianzio, Randy C. Shoemaker

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Iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC) in soybeans has proven to be a perennial problem in the calcareous soils of the U.S. upper Midwest. A historically difficult trait to study in fields, the use of hydroponics in a controlled greenhouse environment has provided a mechanism to study genetic variation while limiting environmental complications. IDC susceptible plants growing in calcareous soils and in iron-controlled hydroponic experiments often exhibit a characteristic chlorotic phenotype early in the growing season but are able to re-green later in the season. To examine the changes in gene expression of these plants, near-isogenic lines, iron efficient PI548553 (Clark) and iron inefficient PI547430 (IsoClark), developed for their response to iron deficiency stress [USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program, Germplasm Resources Information Network - GRIN. (Online Database) National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, MD, 2004. Available: [22] were grown in iron-deficient hydroponic conditions for one week, then transferred to iron sufficient conditions for another week. This induced a phenotypic response mimicking the growth of the plants in the field; initial chlorosis followed by re-greening. RNA was isolated from root tissue and transcript profiles were examined between the two near-isogenic lines using publicly available cDNA microarrays. By alleviating the iron deficiency stress our expectation was that plants would return to baseline expression levels. However, the microarray comparison identified four cDNAs that were under-expressed by a two-fold or greater difference in the iron inefficient plant compared to the iron efficient plant. This differential expression was re-examined and confirmed by real time PCR experimentation. Control experiments showed that these genes are not differentially expressed in plants grown continually under iron rich hydroponic conditions. The expression differences suggest potential residual effects of iron deficiency on plant health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-292
Number of pages6
JournalPlant Physiology and Biochemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Hydroponics
  • Iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC)
  • Microarray
  • Real time PCR (RT-PCR)
  • Soybean

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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