Members of the family of 70-kD heat shock proteins (HSP70 s) play various stress-protective roles in plants. In this study, a wheat HSP70 gene was isolated from a suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) cDNA library of wheat leaves infected by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici. The gene, that was designated as TaHSC70, was predicted to encode a protein of 690 amino acids, with a molecular mass of 73.54 KDa and a pI of 5.01. Further analysis revealed the presence of a conserved signature that is characteristic for HSP70s and phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that TaHSC70 is a homolog of chloroplast HSP70s. TaHSC70 mRNA was present in leaves of both green and etiolated wheat seedlings and in stems and roots. The transcript level in roots was approximately threefold less than in leaves but light–dark treatment did not charge TaHSC70 expression. Following heat shock of wheat seedlings at 40°C, TaHSC70 expression increased in leaves of etiolated seedlings but remained stable at the same level in green seedlings. In addition, TaHSC70 was differentially expressed during an incompatible and compatible interaction with wheat-stripe rust, and there was a transient increase in expression upon treatment with methyl jasmonate (MeJA) treatment. Salicylic acid (SA), ethylene (ET) and abscisic acid (ABA) treatments had no influence on TaHSC70 expression. These results suggest that TaHSC70 plays a role in stress-related responses, and in defense responses elicited by infection with stripe rust fungus and does so via a JA-dependent signal transduction pathway.
- heat-shock proteins