Limonium bicolor, a typical recretohalophyte that lives in saline environments, excretes excessive salt to the environment through epidermal salt glands to avoid salt stress. The aim of this study was to screen for L. bicolor genes involved in salt secretion by high-throughput RNA sequencing. We established the experimental procedure of salt secretion using detached mature leaves, in which the optimal salt concentration was determined as 200 mM NaCl. The detached salt secretion system combined with Illumina deep sequencing were applied. In total, 27,311 genes were annotated using an L. bicolor database, and 2040 of these genes were differentially expressed, of which 744 were up-regulated and 1260 were down-regulated with the NaCl versus the control treatment. A gene ontology enrichment analysis indicated that genes related to ion transport, vesicles, reactive oxygen species scavenging, the abscisic acid-dependent signaling pathway and transcription factors were found to be highly expressed under NaCl treatment. We found that 102 of these genes were likely to be involved in salt secretion, which was confirmed using salt-secretion mutants. The present study identifies the candidate genes in the L. bicolor salt gland that are highly associated with salt secretion. In addition, a salt-transporting pathway is presented to explain how Na+ is excreted by the salt gland in L. bicolor. These findings will shed light on the molecular mechanism of salt secretion from the salt glands of plants.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 3, 2016
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