Transcriptome analysis reveals that distinct metabolic pathways operate in salt-tolerant and salt-sensitive upland cotton varieties subjected to salinity stress

Jinyan Guo, Gongyao Shi, Xiaoyan Guo, Liwei Zhang, Wenying Xu, Yumei Wang, Zhen Su, Jinping Hua
Plant Science: An International Journal of Experimental Plant Biology 2015, 238: 33-45
Salinity stress is one of the most devastating abiotic stresses in crop plants. As a moderately salt-tolerant crop, upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) is a major cash crop in saline areas and a suitable model for salt stress tolerance research. In this study, we compared the transcriptome changes between the salt-tolerant upland cotton cultivar Zhong 07 and salt-sensitive cultivar Zhong G5 in response to NaCl treatments. Transcriptional regulation, signal transduction and secondary metabolism in two varieties showed significant differences, all of which might be related to mechanisms underlying salt stress tolerance. The transcriptional profiles presented here provide a foundation for deciphering the mechanism underlying salt tolerance. Based on our findings, we proposed several candidate genes that might be used to improve salt tolerance in upland cotton.

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