Transcript profiling of the salt-tolerant Festuca rubra ssp. litoralis reveals a regulatory network controlling salt acclimatization

Calliste J Diédhiou, Olga V Popova, Dortje Golldack
Journal of Plant Physiology 2009 May 1, 166 (7): 697-711
We report an analysis of salt-stress responses in the monocotyledonous halophyte Festuca rubra ssp. litoralis. Salt-dependent expression of transcripts encoding a PIP2;1 aquaporin, V-ATPase subunit B, and the Na+/H+ antiporter NHX was characterized. Transcription of FrPIP2;1, FrVHA-B, and FrNHX1 was induced in root tissue of F. rubra ssp. litoralis by salt treatment, and during salt-stress F. rubra ssp. litoralis accumulated sodium in leaves and roots. Cell specificity of FrPIP2;1, FrVHA-B, and FrNHX1 transcription was analyzed by in situ PCR in roots of F. rubra ssp. litoralis. Expression of the genes was localized to the root epidermis, cortex cells, endodermis, and the vascular tissue. In plants treated with 500 mM NaCl, transcripts were repressed in the epidermis and the outer cortex cells, whereas endodermis and vasculature showed strong signals. These data demonstrate that transcriptional regulation of the aquaporin PIP2;1, V-ATPase, and the Na+/H+ antiporter NHX is correlated with salt tolerance in F. rubra ssp. litoralis and suggests coordinated control of ion homeostasis and water status at high salinity in plants. Salt-induced transcript accumulation in F. rubra ssp. litoralis was further monitored by cDNA-arrays with expressed sequence tags derived from a cDNA subtraction library. The salt-regulated transcripts included those involved in the control of gene expression and signal transduction elements such as a serine/threonine protein kinase, an SNF1-related protein kinase, and a WRKY-type transcription factor. Other ESTs with salt-dependent regulation included transcripts encoding proteins that function in metabolism, general stress responses, and defense and transport proteins.

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