Large-scale de novo transcriptome analysis reveals specific gene expression and novel simple sequence repeats markers in salinized roots of the euhalophyte Salicornia europaea
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Glycophytic plants suffer from severe stress and injury when roots are exposed to high salinity in the rhizosphere. In contrast, the euhalophyte Salicornia europaea grows well at 200 mM NaCl and can withstand up to 1000 mM NaCl in the root zone. Analysis of gene expression profiles and the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible for this tolerance have been largely overlooked. Using the Illumina sequencing platform and the short-reads assembly programme Trinity, we generated a total of 40 and 39 million clean reads and further 140,086 and 122,728 unigenes from the 200 mM NaCl and 0 mM NaCl treated tissues of S. europaea roots, respectively. All unigenes in this study were functionally annotated within context of the COG, GO and KEGG pathways. Unigene functional annotation analysis allowed us to identify hundreds of ion transporters related to homeostasis and osmotic adaptation as well as a variety of proteins related to cation, amino acid, lipid and sugar transport. We found significant enrichment in response to stress including the functional categories of “antioxidant activity”, “catalytic activity” and “response to stimuli”. These findings represent for a useful resource for the scientific community working on salt tolerance mechanisms. Conversely, a total of 8639 EST-SSRs from 131,594 unigenes were identified and 4539 non-redundant SSRs primers pairs were developed. These data provide a good foundation for future studies on molecular adaptation mechanisms of euhalophytes roots under saline environments and will likely facilitate the identification of critical salt tolerance traits to be transferred in economically important crops.
KeywordsAbiotic stress Illumina/Solexa sequencing Salicornia europaea root Transcriptome qRT-PCR
This work was supported by Natural Science Foundation in China (Grant no. U1703106), Youth Innovation Promotion Association, CAS (2016381), and the Open Fund of the Shanghai Key Laboratory of Bio-Energy Crops.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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