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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(10), 21053-21070; doi:10.3390/ijms141021053

A Genome-Wide Expression Profile of Salt-Responsive Genes in the Apple Rootstock Malus zumi

1 College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China 2 Horticulture Research Institute, Sichuan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Chengdu 610066, Sichuan, China 3 Department of Cellular & Structural Biology, the UT Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900, USA 4 Plant & Food Research, Private Bag 92169, Auckland, New Zealand These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 July 2013 / Revised: 9 August 2013 / Accepted: 23 September 2013 / Published: 18 October 2013
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
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In some areas of cultivation, a lack of salt tolerance severely affects plant productivity. Apple, Malus x domestica Borkh., is sensitive to salt, and, as a perennial woody plant the mechanism of salt stress adaption will be different from that of annual herbal model plants, such as Arabidopsis. Malus zumi is a salt tolerant apple rootstock, which survives high salinity (up to 0.6% NaCl). To examine the mechanism underlying this tolerance, a genome-wide expression analysis was performed, using a cDNA library constructed from salt-treated seedlings of Malus zumi. A total of 15,000 cDNA clones were selected for microarray analysis. In total a group of 576 cDNAs, of which expression changed more than four-fold, were sequenced and 18 genes were selected to verify their expression pattern under salt stress by semi-quantitative RT-PCR. Our genome-wide expression analysis resulted in the isolation of 50 novel Malus genes and the elucidation of a new apple-specific mechanism of salt tolerance, including the stabilization of photosynthesis under stress, involvement of phenolic compounds, and sorbitol in ROS scavenging and osmoprotection. The promoter regions of 111 genes were analyzed by PlantCARE, suggesting an intensive cross-talking of abiotic stress in Malus zumi. An interaction network of salt responsive genes was constructed and molecular regulatory pathways of apple were deduced. Our research will contribute to gene function analysis and further the understanding of salt-tolerance mechanisms in fruit trees.
Keywords: salt stress; Malus zumi; microarray; salt-responsive gene; interaction network salt stress; Malus zumi; microarray; salt-responsive gene; interaction network
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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Li, Q.; Liu, J.; Tan, D.; Allan, A.C.; Jiang, Y.; Xu, X.; Han, Z.; Kong, J. A Genome-Wide Expression Profile of Salt-Responsive Genes in the Apple Rootstock Malus zumi. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 21053-21070.

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