Heat-map of selected drought-adaptive genes detected by CSA:Drought and validated by qPCR analysis in Brachypodium distachyon. Red and blue represent high and low relative expression when compared to the mean value of expression across all samples, respectively. Scale is log2 of mean expression value. qPCR values, representing mean ± SD (n = 6), were calculated and normalized using Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase and S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase as internal controls and presented as fold-change (P ≤ 0.05). (A) Carbohydrate metabolism: GBSS1, Granule-bound starch synthase 1; BAM1, β-Amylase 1; TPP, Trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase; INV-E, Alkaline/neutral invertase E; HXK1, Hexokinase 1; GOLS1, Galactinol synthase 1. (B) Amino acid metabolism: HGO, Homogentisate 1,2-dioxygenase; P5CS1, Delta1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthetase; DAHPS, 3-Deoxy-D-arabino-heptulosonate 7-phosphate synthase; AK1, Aspartate kinase 1. (C) Protein degradation: ERD1, Early responsive to dehydration 1; SCPL49, Serine carboxypeptidase-like 49. (D) Hormone metabolism and transcription factors: ABF4, ABRE binding factor 4; SnRK2.4, SNF1-related kinase 2.4; GA20ox2, Gibberellin 20 oxidase 2; NAC1, NAC domain containing protein 1. (E) Unknown and unclassified: LEA3, Late embryogenesis abundant protein, group 3. § indicates significant differences of qPCR analysis at P ≤ 0.1. Fold change values and statistical analysis for each gene can be found in Additional file 13: Figure S6.