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Comparative analysis of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) leaf transcriptomes reveals genotype-specific salt tolerance mechanisms.
BMC Plant Biol. 2018 Feb 15; 18(1):35.BP

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Soil salinity is an important factor affecting growth, development, and productivity of almost all land plants, including the forage crop alfalfa (Medicago sativa). However, little is known about how alfalfa responds and adapts to salt stress, particularly among different salt-tolerant cultivars.

RESULTS

Among seven alfalfa cultivars, we found that Zhongmu-1 (ZM) is relatively salt-tolerant and Xingjiang Daye (XJ) is salt-sensitive. Compared to XJ, ZM showed slower growth under low-salt conditions, but exhibited stronger tolerance to salt stress. RNA-seq analysis revealed 2237 and 1125 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between ZM and XJ in the presence and absence of salt stress, among which many genes are involved in stress-related pathways. After salt treatment, compared with the controls, the number of DEGs in XJ (19373) was about four times of that in ZM (4833). We also detected specific differential gene expression patterns: In response to salt stress, compared with XJ, ZM maintained relatively more stable expression levels of genes related to the ROS and Ca2+ pathways, phytohormone biosynthesis, and Na+/K+ transport. Notably, several salt resistance-associated genes always showed greater levels of expression in ZM than in XJ, including a transcription factor. Consistent with the suppression of plant growth resulting from salt stress, the expression of numerous photosynthesis- and growth hormone-related genes decreased more dramatically in XJ than in ZM. By contrast, the expression levels of photosynthetic genes were lower in ZM under low-salt conditions.

CONCLUSIONS

Compared with XJ, ZM is a salt-tolerant alfalfa cultivar possessing specific regulatory mechanisms conferring exceptional salt tolerance, likely by maintaining high transcript levels of abiotic and biotic stress resistance-related genes. Our results suggest that maintaining this specific physiological status and/or plant adaptation to salt stress most likely arises by inhibition of plant growth in ZM through plant hormone interactions. This study identifies new candidate genes that may regulate alfalfa tolerance to salt stress and increases the understanding of the genetic basis for salt tolerance.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Bio-Resource and Eco-Environment, College of Life Science, State Key Laboratory of Hydraulics and Mountain River Engineering, Sichuan University, Chengdu, 610000, China. Department of Economic Plants and Biotechnology, Yunnan Key Laboratory for Wild Plant Resources, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, 650201, China.Department of Economic Plants and Biotechnology, Yunnan Key Laboratory for Wild Plant Resources, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, 650201, China.Department of Economic Plants and Biotechnology, Yunnan Key Laboratory for Wild Plant Resources, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, 650201, China.Department of Economic Plants and Biotechnology, Yunnan Key Laboratory for Wild Plant Resources, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, 650201, China.Department of Economic Plants and Biotechnology, Yunnan Key Laboratory for Wild Plant Resources, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, 650201, China.Department of Economic Plants and Biotechnology, Yunnan Key Laboratory for Wild Plant Resources, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, 650201, China.Department of Economic Plants and Biotechnology, Yunnan Key Laboratory for Wild Plant Resources, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, 650201, China.Department of Economic Plants and Biotechnology, Yunnan Key Laboratory for Wild Plant Resources, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, 650201, China.Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Bio-Resource and Eco-Environment, College of Life Science, State Key Laboratory of Hydraulics and Mountain River Engineering, Sichuan University, Chengdu, 610000, China. hhlin@scu.edu.cn.Department of Economic Plants and Biotechnology, Yunnan Key Laboratory for Wild Plant Resources, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, 650201, China. wujianqiang@mail.kib.ac.cn.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

29448940

Citation

Lei, Yunting, et al. "Comparative Analysis of Alfalfa (Medicago Sativa L.) Leaf Transcriptomes Reveals Genotype-specific Salt Tolerance Mechanisms." BMC Plant Biology, vol. 18, no. 1, 2018, p. 35.
Lei Y, Xu Y, Hettenhausen C, et al. Comparative analysis of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) leaf transcriptomes reveals genotype-specific salt tolerance mechanisms. BMC Plant Biol. 2018;18(1):35.
Lei, Y., Xu, Y., Hettenhausen, C., Lu, C., Shen, G., Zhang, C., Li, J., Song, J., Lin, H., & Wu, J. (2018). Comparative analysis of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) leaf transcriptomes reveals genotype-specific salt tolerance mechanisms. BMC Plant Biology, 18(1), 35. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12870-018-1250-4
Lei Y, et al. Comparative Analysis of Alfalfa (Medicago Sativa L.) Leaf Transcriptomes Reveals Genotype-specific Salt Tolerance Mechanisms. BMC Plant Biol. 2018 Feb 15;18(1):35. PubMed PMID: 29448940.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Comparative analysis of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) leaf transcriptomes reveals genotype-specific salt tolerance mechanisms. AU - Lei,Yunting, AU - Xu,Yuxing, AU - Hettenhausen,Christian, AU - Lu,Chengkai, AU - Shen,Guojing, AU - Zhang,Cuiping, AU - Li,Jing, AU - Song,Juan, AU - Lin,Honghui, AU - Wu,Jianqiang, Y1 - 2018/02/15/ PY - 2017/10/23/received PY - 2018/01/30/accepted PY - 2018/2/17/entrez PY - 2018/2/17/pubmed PY - 2018/11/20/medline KW - Abscisic acid KW - Alfalfa KW - Constitutive expression KW - Medicago sativa KW - Salt stress SP - 35 EP - 35 JF - BMC plant biology JO - BMC Plant Biol VL - 18 IS - 1 N2 - BACKGROUND: Soil salinity is an important factor affecting growth, development, and productivity of almost all land plants, including the forage crop alfalfa (Medicago sativa). However, little is known about how alfalfa responds and adapts to salt stress, particularly among different salt-tolerant cultivars. RESULTS: Among seven alfalfa cultivars, we found that Zhongmu-1 (ZM) is relatively salt-tolerant and Xingjiang Daye (XJ) is salt-sensitive. Compared to XJ, ZM showed slower growth under low-salt conditions, but exhibited stronger tolerance to salt stress. RNA-seq analysis revealed 2237 and 1125 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between ZM and XJ in the presence and absence of salt stress, among which many genes are involved in stress-related pathways. After salt treatment, compared with the controls, the number of DEGs in XJ (19373) was about four times of that in ZM (4833). We also detected specific differential gene expression patterns: In response to salt stress, compared with XJ, ZM maintained relatively more stable expression levels of genes related to the ROS and Ca2+ pathways, phytohormone biosynthesis, and Na+/K+ transport. Notably, several salt resistance-associated genes always showed greater levels of expression in ZM than in XJ, including a transcription factor. Consistent with the suppression of plant growth resulting from salt stress, the expression of numerous photosynthesis- and growth hormone-related genes decreased more dramatically in XJ than in ZM. By contrast, the expression levels of photosynthetic genes were lower in ZM under low-salt conditions. CONCLUSIONS: Compared with XJ, ZM is a salt-tolerant alfalfa cultivar possessing specific regulatory mechanisms conferring exceptional salt tolerance, likely by maintaining high transcript levels of abiotic and biotic stress resistance-related genes. Our results suggest that maintaining this specific physiological status and/or plant adaptation to salt stress most likely arises by inhibition of plant growth in ZM through plant hormone interactions. This study identifies new candidate genes that may regulate alfalfa tolerance to salt stress and increases the understanding of the genetic basis for salt tolerance. SN - 1471-2229 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/29448940/Comparative_analysis_of_alfalfa__Medicago_sativa_L___leaf_transcriptomes_reveals_genotype_specific_salt_tolerance_mechanisms_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -