Saline-alkali soil seriously threatens agriculture productivity; therefore, understanding the mechanism of plant tolerance to alkaline-salt stress has become a major challenge. Halophytic Puccinellia tenuiflora can tolerate salt and alkaline-salt stress, and is thus an ideal plant for studying this tolerance mechanism. In this study, we examined the salt and alkaline-salt stress tolerance of P. tenuiflora, and analyzed gene expression profiles under these stresses. Physiological experiments revealed that P. tenuiflora can grow normally with maximum stress under 600 mmol/L NaCl and 150 mmol/L Na2CO3 (pH 11.0) for 6 d. We identified 4,982 unigenes closely homologous to rice and barley. Furthermore, 1,105 genes showed differentially expressed profiles under salt and alkaline-salt treatments. Differentially expressed genes were overrepresented in functions of photosynthesis, oxidation reduction, signal transduction, and transcription regulation. Almost all genes downregulated under salt and alkaline-salt stress were related to cell structure, photosynthesis, and protein synthesis. Comparing with salt stress, alkaline-salt stress triggered more differentially expressed genes and significantly upregulated genes related to H+ transport and citric acid synthesis. These data indicate common and diverse features of salt and alkaline-salt stress tolerance, and give novel insights into the molecular and physiological mechanisms of plant salt and alkaline-salt tolerance.
Zhang X, Wei L, Wang Z, Wang T (2013) Physiological and molecular features of Puccinellia tenuiflora tolerating salt and alkaline-salt stress. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 55(3), 262–276.