Exploration for the salt stress tolerance genes from a salt-treated halophyte, Suaeda asparagoides

Selvam Ayarpadikannan, Eunsook Chung, Chang-Woo Cho, Hyun-Ah So, Soon-Ok Kim, Joo-Min Jeon, Myoung-Hae Kwak, Seon-Woo Lee, Jai-Heon Lee
Plant Cell Reports 2012, 31 (1): 35-48
Salinity stress severely affects plant growth and development causing crop loss worldwide. Suaeda asparagoides is a salt-marsh euhalophyte widely distributed in southwestern foreshore of Korea. To isolate salt tolerance genes from S. asparagoides, we constructed a cDNA library from leaf tissues of S. asparagoides that was treated with 200 mM NaCl. A total of 1,056 clones were randomly selected for EST sequencing, and 932 of them produced readable sequence. By sequence analysis, we identified 538 unigenes and registered each in National Center for Biotechnology Information. The 80 salt stress related genes were selected to study their differential expression. Reverse transcription-PCR and Northern blot analysis revealed that 23 genes were differentially expressed under the high salinity stress conditions in S. asparagoides. They are functionally diverse including transport, signal transduction, transcription factor, metabolism and stress associated protein, and unknown function. Among them dehydrin (SaDhn) and RNA binding protein (SaRBP1) were examined for their abiotic stress tolerance in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Yeast overexpressing SaDhn and SaRBP1 showed enhanced tolerance to osmotic, freezing and heat shock stresses. This study provides the evidence that SaRBP1 and SaDhn from S. asparagoides exert abiotic stress tolerance in yeast. Information of salt stress related genes from S. asparagoides would contribute for the accumulating genetic resources to improve osmotic tolerance in plants.

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