Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graceum L. cv. Baladi) is a winter plant which grows at 20±2°C. It is an important medicinal plant with great therapeutic effect. It is also a natural antioxidant source, it acts as anticancer, has antidiabetic effect, enhances insulin sensitivity, decreases serum total lipids, and decreases serum cholesterol. The objective of the present work is to detect the effect of heat shock on some biochemical and molecular criteria, use thermotolerance mechanism to improve vegetative growth and the active ingredient trigonelline in seed yield of fenugreek. Several thermotolerance mechanisms in fenugreek seedlings were shown through increasing some metabolites as soluble sugars, soluble protein, amino-nitrogen, proline and antioxidant enzymes. Protein and random amplified polymorphic- deoxyribonucleic acid (RAPD-DNA) patterns showed variable qualitative and quantitative changes. Trigonelline and glycine betaine were increased in the seed yield. It can be concluded that, the exposure of germinated fenugreek seeds to different temperatures induce reprogramming of gene expression in a coordinated fashion by changing the metabolism, protein and DNA profiles. These findings may suggest that fenugreek can be introduced in breeding programs to produce tolerant varieties and pave the way for cloning and characterization of underlying genetic factors which could be useful for engineering plants with improved heat tolerance.
Key words: Antioxidant enzymes, fenugreek, heat-shock, proline, protein, random amplified polymorphic deoxyribonucleic acid-polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR), soluble sugars, thermotolerance, Trigonella foenum-graceum L., trigonelline.
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