Uncovering candidate genes responsive to salt stress in Salix matsudana (Koidz) by transcriptomic analysis.
ABSTRACT: Salix matsudana, a member of Salicaceae, is an important ornamental tree in China. Because of its capability to tolerate high salt conditions, S. matsudana also plays an important ecological role when grown along Chinese coastal beaches, where the salinity content is high. Here, we aimed to elucidate the mechanism of higher salt tolerance in S. matsudana variety '9901' by identifying the associated genes through RNA sequencing and comparing differential gene expression between the S. matsudana salt-tolerant and salt-sensitive samples treated with 150 mM NaCl. Transcriptomic comparison of the roots of the two samples revealed 2174 and 3159 genes responsive to salt stress in salt-sensitive and salt-tolerant sample, respectively. Real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis of 9 of the responsive genes revealed a strong, positive correlation with RNA sequencing data. The genes were enriched in several pathways, including carbon metabolism pathway, plant-pathogen interaction pathway, and plant hormone signal transduction pathway. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) encoding transcription factors associated with abiotic stress responses and salt stress response network were identified; their expression levels differed between the two samples in response to salt stress. Hub genes were also revealed by weighted gene co-expression network (WGCNA) analysis. For functional analysis of the DEG encoding sedoheptulose-1,7-bisphosphatase (SBPase), the gene was overexpressed in transgenic Arabidopsis, resulting in increased photosynthetic rates, sucrose and starch accumulation, and enhanced salt tolerance. Further functional characterization of other hub DEGs will reveal the molecular mechanism of salt tolerance in S. matsudana and allow the application of S. matsudana in coastal afforestation.
PROVIDER: S-EPMC7410171 | BioStudies |