Transcriptome profiling of Puccinellia tenuiflora during seed germination under a long-term saline-alkali stress.BMC Genomics 2019; 20(1):589BG
Puccinellia tenuiflora is the most saline-alkali tolerant plant in the Songnen Plain, one of the three largest soda saline-alkali lands worldwide. Here, we investigated the physicochemical properties of saline-alkali soils from the Songnen Plain and sequenced the transcriptomes of germinated P. tenuiflora seedlings under long-term treatment (from seed soaking) with saline-alkali soil extracts.
We found that the soils from Songnen Plain were reasonably rich in salts and alkali; moreover, the soils were severely deficient in nitrogen [N], phosphorus [P], potassium [K] and several other mineral elements. This finding demonstrated that P. tenuiflora can survive from not only high saline-alkali stress but also a lack of essential mineral elements. To explore the saline-alkali tolerance mechanism, transcriptional analyses of P. tenuiflora plants treated with water extracts from the saline-alkali soils was performed. Interestingly, unigenes involved in the uptake of N, P, K and the micronutrients were found to be significantly upregulated, which indicated the existence of an efficient nutrition-uptake system in P. tenuiflora. Compared with P. tenuiflora, the rice Oryza sativa was hypersensitive to saline-alkali stress. The results obtained using a noninvasive microtest techniques confirmed that the uptake of NO3- and NH4+ and the regulatory flux of Na+ and H+ were significantly higher in the roots of P. tenuiflora than in those of O. sativa. In the corresponding physiological experiments, the application of additional nutrition elements significantly eliminated the sensitive symptoms of rice to saline-alkali soil extracts.
Our results imply that the survival of P. tenuiflora in saline-alkali soils is due to a combination of at least two regulatory mechanisms and the high nutrient uptake capacity of P. tenuiflora plays a pivotal role in its adaptation to those stress. Taken together, our results highlight the role of nutrition uptake in saline-alkali stress tolerance in plants.