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Integrative multi-omics analyses of barley rootzones under salinity stress reveal two distinctive salt tolerance mechanisms

journal contribution
posted on 19.01.2021, 06:33 authored by William Wing Ho Ho, Camilla B Hill, Monika DoblinMonika Doblin, Megan C Shelden, Allison van de Meene, Thusitha Rupasinghe, Tony BacicTony Bacic, Ute Roessner
The mechanisms underlying rootzone-localized responses to salinity during early stages of barley development remain elusive. In this study, we performed the analyses of multi-root-omes (transcriptomes, metabolomes, and lipidomes) of a domesticated barley cultivar (Clipper) and a landrace (Sahara) that maintain and restrict seedling root growth under salt stress, respectively. Novel generalized linear models were designed to determine differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and abundant metabolites (DAMs) specific to salt treatments, genotypes, or rootzones (meristematic Z1, elongation Z2, and maturation Z3). Based on pathway over-representation of the DEGs and DAMs, phenylpropanoid biosynthesis is the most statistically enriched biological pathway among all salinity responses observed. Together with histological evidence, an intense salt-induced lignin impregnation was found only at stelic cell wall of Clipper Z2, compared with a unique elevation of suberin deposition across Sahara Z2. This suggests two differential salt-induced modulations of apoplastic flow between the genotypes. Based on the global correlation network of the DEGs and DAMs, callose deposition that potentially adjusted symplastic flow in roots was almost independent of salinity in rootzones of Clipper, and was markedly decreased in Sahara. Taken together, we propose two distinctive salt tolerance mechanisms in Clipper (growth-sustaining) and Sahara (salt-shielding), providing important clues for improving crop plasticity to cope with deteriorating global soil salinization.


Publication Date



Plant communications





Article Number



17p. (p. 1-17)


Cell Press



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