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Transcriptomic Profiling Identifies Candidate Genes Involved in the Salt Tolerance of the Xerophyte Pugionium cornutum

Authors
  • Cui, Yan-Nong
  • Wang, Fang-Zhen
  • Yang, Cheng-Hang
  • Yuan, Jian-Zhen
  • Guo, Huan
  • Zhang, Jin-Lin
  • Wang, Suo-Min
  • Ma, Qing
Type
Published Article
Journal
Genes
Publisher
MDPI AG
Publication Date
Dec 12, 2019
Volume
10
Issue
12
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/genes10121039
PMID: 31842449
PMCID: PMC6947847
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Article
License
Green

Abstract

The xerophyte Pugionium cornutum adapts to salt stress by accumulating inorganic ions (e.g., Cl−) for osmotic adjustment and enhancing the activity of antioxidant enzymes, but the associated molecular basis remains unclear. In this study, we first found that P. cornutum could also maintain cell membrane stability due to its prominent ROS-scavenging ability and exhibits efficient carbon assimilation capacity under salt stress. Then, the candidate genes associated with the important physiological traits of the salt tolerance of P. cornutum were identified through transcriptomic analysis. The results showed that after 50 mM NaCl treatment for 6 or 24 h, multiple genes encoding proteins facilitating Cl− accumulation and NO3− homeostasis, as well as the transport of other major inorganic osmoticums, were significantly upregulated in roots and shoots, which should be favorable for enhancing osmotic adjustment capacity and maintaining the uptake and transport of nutrient elements; a large number of genes related to ROS-scavenging pathways were also significantly upregulated, which might be beneficial for mitigating salt-induced oxidative damage to the cells. Meanwhile, many genes encoding components of the photosynthetic electron transport pathway and carbon fixation enzymes were significantly upregulated in shoots, possibly resulting in high carbon assimilation efficiency in P. cornutum . Additionally, numerous salt-inducible transcription factor genes that probably regulate the abovementioned processes were found. This work lays a preliminary foundation for clarifying the molecular mechanism underlying the adaptation of xerophytes to harsh environments.

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