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Genome. 2009 Jul;52(7):647-57. doi: 10.1139/G09-041.

Characterization of Salt Overly Sensitive 1 (SOS1) gene homoeologs in quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.).

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Department of Plant and Wildlife Sciences, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, USA.


Salt tolerance is an agronomically important trait that affects plant species around the globe. The Salt Overly Sensitive 1 (SOS1) gene encodes a plasma membrane Na+/H+ antiporter that plays an important role in germination and growth of plants in saline environments. Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) is a halophytic, allotetraploid grain crop of the family Amaranthaceae with impressive nutritional content and an increasing worldwide market. Many quinoa varieties have considerable salt tolerance, and research suggests quinoa may utilize novel mechanisms to confer salt tolerance. Here we report the cloning and characterization of two homoeologous SOS1 loci (cqSOS1A and cqSOS1B) from C. quinoa, including full-length cDNA sequences, genomic sequences, relative expression levels, fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis, and a phylogenetic analysis of SOS1 genes from 13 plant taxa. The cqSOS1A and cqSOS1B genes each span 23 exons spread over 3477 bp and 3486 bp of coding sequence, respectively. These sequences share a high level of similarity with SOS1 homologs of other species and contain two conserved domains, a Nhap cation-antiporter domain and a cyclic-nucleotide binding domain. Genomic sequence analysis of two BAC clones (98 357 bp and 132 770 bp) containing the homoeologous SOS1 genes suggests possible conservation of synteny across the C. quinoa sub-genomes. This report represents the first molecular characterization of salt-tolerance genes in a halophytic species in the Amaranthaceae as well as the first comparative analysis of coding and non-coding DNA sequences of the two homoeologous genomes of C. quinoa.

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