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Molecular Regulation of Salinity Tolerance in Plants

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Plant Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 March 2024) | Viewed by 14327

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

High salt concentration in the soil solution is widespread, and the area of saline land makes up to 6% of arable land. Salinity adversely affects plant growth and development by reducing availability of water (osmotic component of salinity) and due to toxicity of ions (especially sodium) that gradually penetrate into the plant tissues. In general, the negative impacts of salinity lead to a decline in plant productivity, which makes it necessary to improve their salt-tolerance. Although numerous reports addressed molecular regulatory mechanisms involved in plant salt tolerance, many questions remain unanswered dictating the need for their further in-depth studies. In this Special Issue, articles (original research papers, future perspectives, hypotheses, opinions, reviews) will present the newest results of investigations and findings in the above-presented area. We invite researchers to contribute to this Special Issue. Submissions should be related to themes including but not restricted to: 

  • salinity sensing as a starting point for turning on regulatory mechanisms involved in adaptation to salt stress;
  • transcription factors that control plant responses to salt-stress and their target genes;
  • the role plant hormones in inducing regulatory mechanisms of salt tolerance;
  • ion transporters responsible for maintenance of ion homeostasis under salinity;
  • importance of antioxidant systems for salt tolerance;
  • mechanisms controlling water relations and osmotic adjustment under salinity;
  • involvement of aquaporins in adaptation to salinity.

Prof. Dr. Guzel Kudoyarova
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • salinity
  • water relations
  • plant hormonal signaling
  • plant growth promoting bacteria
  • mineral nutrition
  • regulation of growth and development

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

28 pages, 6703 KiB  
Article
Integrated Transcriptomic and Metabolomic Analyses Uncover the Differential Mechanism in Saline–Alkaline Tolerance between Indica and Japonica Rice at the Seedling Stage
by Jianyong Wang, Keke Hu, Jien Wang, Ziyun Gong, Shuangmiao Li, Xiaoxiao Deng and Yangsheng Li
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(15), 12387; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241512387 - 3 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1592
Abstract
Saline–alkaline stress is one of the major damages that severely affects rice (Oryza sativa L.) growth and grain yield; however, the mechanism of the tolerance remains largely unknown in rice. Herein, we comparatively investigated the transcriptome and metabolome of two contrasting rice [...] Read more.
Saline–alkaline stress is one of the major damages that severely affects rice (Oryza sativa L.) growth and grain yield; however, the mechanism of the tolerance remains largely unknown in rice. Herein, we comparatively investigated the transcriptome and metabolome of two contrasting rice subspecies genotypes, Luohui 9 (abbreviation for Chao2R under study, O. sativa ssp. indica, saline–alkaline-sensitive) and RPY geng (O. sativa ssp. japonica, saline–alkaline-tolerant), to identify the main pathways and important factors related to saline–alkaline tolerance. Transcriptome analysis showed that 68 genes involved in fatty acid, amino acid (such as phenylalanine and tryptophan), phenylpropanoid biosynthesis, energy metabolism (such as Glycolysis and TCA cycle), as well as signal transduction (such as hormone and MAPK signaling) were identified to be specifically upregulated in RPY geng under saline–alkaline conditions, implying that a series of cascade changes from these genes promotes saline–alkaline stress tolerance. The transcriptome changes observed in RPY geng were in high accordance with the specifically accumulation of metabolites, consisting mainly of 14 phenolic acids, 8 alkaloids, and 19 lipids based on the combination analysis of transcriptome and metabolome. Moreover, some genes involved in signal transduction as hub genes, such as PR5, FLS2, BRI1, and NAC, may participate in the saline–alkaline stress response of RPY geng by modulating key genes involved in fatty acid, phenylpropanoid biosynthesis, amino acid metabolism, and glycolysis metabolic pathways based on the gene co-expression network analysis. The present research results not only provide important insights for understanding the mechanism underlying of rice saline–alkaline tolerance at the transcriptome and metabolome levels but also provide key candidate target genes for further enhancing rice saline–alkaline stress tolerance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Regulation of Salinity Tolerance in Plants)
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20 pages, 3588 KiB  
Article
Priming Potato Plants with Melatonin Protects Stolon Formation under Delayed Salt Stress by Maintaining the Photochemical Function of Photosystem II, Ionic Homeostasis and Activating the Antioxidant System
by Marina V. Efimova, Elena D. Danilova, Ilya E. Zlobin, Lilia V. Kolomeichuk, Olga K. Murgan, Ekaterina V. Boyko and Vladimir V. Kuznetsov
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(7), 6134; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24076134 - 24 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1870
Abstract
Melatonin is among one of the promising agents able to protect agricultural plants from the adverse action of different stressors, including salinity. We aimed to investigate the effects of melatonin priming (0.1, 1.0 and 10 µM) on salt-stressed potato plants (125 mM NaCl), [...] Read more.
Melatonin is among one of the promising agents able to protect agricultural plants from the adverse action of different stressors, including salinity. We aimed to investigate the effects of melatonin priming (0.1, 1.0 and 10 µM) on salt-stressed potato plants (125 mM NaCl), by studying the growth parameters, photochemical activity of photosystem II, water status, ion content and antioxidant system activity. Melatonin as a pleiotropic signaling molecule was found to decrease the negative effect of salt stress on stolon formation, tissue water content and ion status without a significant effect on the expression of Na+/H+-antiporter genes localized on the vacuolar (NHX1 to NHX3) and plasma membrane (SOS1). Melatonin effectively decreases the accumulation of lipid peroxidation products in potato leaves in the whole range of concentrations studied. A melatonin-induced dose-dependent increase in Fv/Fm together with a decrease in uncontrolled non-photochemical dissipation Y(NO) also indicates decreased oxidative damage. The observed protective ability of melatonin was unlikely due to its influence on antioxidant enzymes, since neither SOD nor peroxidase were activated by melatonin. Melatonin exerted positive effects on the accumulation of water-soluble low-molecular-weight antioxidants, proline and flavonoids, which could aid in decreasing oxidative stress. The most consistent positive effect was observed on the accumulation of carotenoids, which are well-known lipophilic antioxidants playing an important role in the protection of photosynthesis from oxidative damage. Finally, it is possible that melatonin accumulated during pretreatment could exert direct antioxidative effects due to the ROS scavenging activity of melatonin molecules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Regulation of Salinity Tolerance in Plants)
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9 pages, 19252 KiB  
Communication
Effect of Salinity on Stomatal Conductance, Leaf Hydraulic Conductance, HvPIP2 Aquaporin, and Abscisic Acid Abundance in Barley Leaf Cells
by Guzel Sharipova, Ruslan Ivanov, Dmitriy Veselov, Guzel Akhiyarova, Oksana Seldimirova, Ilshat Galin, Wieland Fricke, Lidiya Vysotskaya and Guzel Kudoyarova
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(22), 14282; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms232214282 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1621
Abstract
The stomatal closure of salt-stressed plants reduces transpiration bringing about the maintenance of plant tissue hydration. The aim of this work was to test for any involvement of aquaporins (AQPs) in stomatal closure under salinity. The changes in the level of aquaporins in [...] Read more.
The stomatal closure of salt-stressed plants reduces transpiration bringing about the maintenance of plant tissue hydration. The aim of this work was to test for any involvement of aquaporins (AQPs) in stomatal closure under salinity. The changes in the level of aquaporins in the cells were detected with the help of an immunohistochemical technique using antibodies against HvPIP2;2. In parallel, leaf sections were stained for abscisic acid (ABA). The effects of salinity were compared to those of exogenously applied ABA on leaf HvPIP2;2 levels and the stomatal and leaf hydraulic conductance of barley plants. Salinity reduced the abundance of HvPIP2;2 in the cells of the mestome sheath due to it being the more likely hydraulic barrier due to the deposition of lignin, accompanied by a decline in the hydraulic conductivity, transpiration, and ABA accumulation. The effects of exogenous ABA differed from those of salinity. This hormone decreased transpiration but increased the shoot hydraulic conductivity and PIP2;2 abundance. The difference in the action of the exogenous hormone and salinity may be related to the difference in the ABA distribution between leaf cells, with the hormone accumulating mainly in the mesophyll of salt-stressed plants and in the cells of the bundle sheaths of ABA-treated plants. The obtained results suggest the following succession of events: salinity decreases water flow into the shoots due to the decreased abundance of PIP2;2 and hydraulic conductance, while the decline in leaf hydration leads to the production of ABA in the leaves and stomatal closure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Regulation of Salinity Tolerance in Plants)
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16 pages, 3100 KiB  
Article
Identification of the NAC Transcription Factors and Their Function in ABA and Salinity Response in Nelumbo nucifera
by Shuping Zhao, Tao Jiang, Yao Zhang, Kailing Zhang, Kai Feng, Peng Wu and Liangjun Li
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(20), 12394; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms232012394 - 16 Oct 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1961
Abstract
Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. is an important perennial aquatic herb that has high ornamental, edible, medicinal, and economic value, being widely distributed and used in China. The NAC superfamily (NAM, ATAF1/2, CUC2) plays critical roles in plant growth, development, and response to abiotic and [...] Read more.
Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. is an important perennial aquatic herb that has high ornamental, edible, medicinal, and economic value, being widely distributed and used in China. The NAC superfamily (NAM, ATAF1/2, CUC2) plays critical roles in plant growth, development, and response to abiotic and biotic stresses. Though there have been a few reports about NAC genes in lotus, systematic analysis is still relatively lacking. The present study aimed to characterize all the NAC genes in the lotus and obtain better insights on the NnNACs in response to salt stress by depending on ABA signaling. Here, 97 NAC genes were identified by searching the whole lotus genome based on the raw HMM models of the conserved NAM domain and NAC domain. They were characterized by bioinformatics analysis and divided into 18 subgroups based on the phylogenetic tree. Cis-element analysis demonstrated that NAC genes are responsive to biotic and abiotic stresses, light, low temperature, and plant hormones. Meanwhile, NAC genes had tissue expression specificity. qRT-PCR analysis indicated that NAC genes could be upregulated or downregulated by NaCl treatment, ABA, and fluoridone. In addition, NAC016, NAC025, and NAC070, whose encoding genes were significantly induced by NaCl and ABA, were located in the nucleus. Further analysis showed the three NAC proteins had transcriptional activation capabilities. The co-expression network analysis reflected that NAC proteins may form complexes with other proteins to play a role together. Our study provides a theoretical basis for further research to be conducted on the regulatory mechanisms of salinity resistance in the lotus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Regulation of Salinity Tolerance in Plants)
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12 pages, 1697 KiB  
Article
Comparing Essentiality of SOS1-Mediated Na+ Exclusion in Salinity Tolerance between Cultivated and Wild Rice Species
by Babar Shahzad, Lana Shabala, Meixue Zhou, Gayatri Venkataraman, Celymar Angela Solis, David Page, Zhong-Hua Chen and Sergey Shabala
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(17), 9900; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23179900 - 31 Aug 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2171
Abstract
Soil salinity is a major constraint that affects plant growth and development. Rice is a staple food for more than half of the human population but is extremely sensitive to salinity. Among the several known mechanisms, the ability of the plant to exclude [...] Read more.
Soil salinity is a major constraint that affects plant growth and development. Rice is a staple food for more than half of the human population but is extremely sensitive to salinity. Among the several known mechanisms, the ability of the plant to exclude cytosolic Na+ is strongly correlated with salinity stress tolerance in different plant species. This exclusion is mediated by the plasma membrane (PM) Na+/H+ antiporter encoded by Salt Overly Sensitive (SOS1) gene and driven by a PM H+-ATPase generated proton gradient. However, it is not clear to what extent this mechanism is operational in wild and cultivated rice species, given the unique rice root anatomy and the existence of the bypass flow for Na+. As wild rice species provide a rich source of genetic diversity for possible introgression of abiotic stress tolerance, we investigated physiological and molecular basis of salinity stress tolerance in Oryza species by using two contrasting pairs of cultivated (Oryza sativa) and wild rice species (Oryza alta and Oryza punctata). Accordingly, dose- and age-dependent Na+ and H+ fluxes were measured using a non-invasive ion selective vibrating microelectrode (the MIFE technique) to measure potential activity of SOS1-encoded Na+/H+ antiporter genes. Consistent with GUS staining data reported in the literature, rice accessions had (~4–6-fold) greater net Na+ efflux in the root elongation zone (EZ) compared to the mature root zone (MZ). Pharmacological experiments showed that Na+ efflux in root EZ is suppressed by more than 90% by amiloride, indicating the possible involvement of Na+/H+ exchanger activity in root EZ. Within each group (cultivated vs. wild) the magnitude of amiloride-sensitive Na+ efflux was higher in tolerant genotypes; however, the activity of Na+/H+ exchanger was 2–3-fold higher in the cultivated rice compared with their wild counterparts. Gene expression levels of SOS1, SOS2 and SOS3 were upregulated under 24 h salinity treatment in all the tested genotypes, with the highest level of SOS1 transcript detected in salt-tolerant wild rice genotype O. alta (~5–6-fold increased transcript level) followed by another wild rice, O. punctata. There was no significant difference in SOS1 expression observed for cultivated rice (IR1-tolerant and IR29-sensitive) under both 0 and 24 h salinity exposure. Our findings suggest that salt-tolerant cultivated rice relies on the cytosolic Na+ exclusion mechanism to deal with salt stress to a greater extent than wild rice, but its operation seems to be regulated at a post-translational rather than transcriptional level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Regulation of Salinity Tolerance in Plants)
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Review

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25 pages, 1477 KiB  
Review
Salt Stress—Regulation of Root Water Uptake in a Whole-Plant and Diurnal Context
by Yingying Lu and Wieland Fricke
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(9), 8070; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24098070 - 29 Apr 2023
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4206
Abstract
This review focuses on the regulation of root water uptake in plants which are exposed to salt stress. Root water uptake is not considered in isolation but is viewed in the context of other potential tolerance mechanisms of plants—tolerance mechanisms which relate to [...] Read more.
This review focuses on the regulation of root water uptake in plants which are exposed to salt stress. Root water uptake is not considered in isolation but is viewed in the context of other potential tolerance mechanisms of plants—tolerance mechanisms which relate to water relations and gas exchange. Plants spend between one third and half of their lives in the dark, and salt stress does not stop with sunset, nor does it start with sunrise. Surprisingly, how plants deal with salt stress during the dark has received hardly any attention, yet any growth response to salt stress over days, weeks, months and years is the integrative result of how plants perform during numerous, consecutive day/night cycles. As we will show, dealing with salt stress during the night is a prerequisite to coping with salt stress during the day. We hope to highlight with this review not so much what we know, but what we do not know; and this relates often to some rather basic questions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Regulation of Salinity Tolerance in Plants)
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