Send to

Choose Destination
Genome. 2017 Feb;60(2):104-127. doi: 10.1139/gen-2016-0111. Epub 2016 Oct 7.

Transcript analysis in two alfalfa salt tolerance selected breeding populations relative to a non-tolerant population.

Author information

a Saskatoon Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 107 Science Place, Saskatoon, SK S7J 0X2, Canada.
b Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta, 2-21 Athabasca Hall, Edmonton, AB T6G 2R3, Canada.
c Semiarid Prairie Agricultural Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, P.O. Box 1030, Swift Current, SK S9H 3X2, Canada.
d National Research Council, 110 Gymnasium Pl., Saskatoon, SK S7N 0W9, Canada.
e AAFC Lethbridge Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 5403 - 1st Avenue S., Lethbridge, AB T1J 4B1, Canada.
f Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, 11455 Saskatchewan Drive, Edmonton, AB T6G 2R3, Canada.
g Alforex Seeds, an affiliate of Dow AgroSciences, N4505 CTH M, West Salem, WI 54669, USA.


With the growing limitations on arable land, alfalfa (a widely cultivated, low-input forage) is now being selected to extend cultivation into saline lands for low-cost biofeedstock purposes. Here, minerals and transcriptome profiles were compared between two new salinity-tolerant North American alfalfa breeding populations and a more salinity-sensitive western Canadian alfalfa population grown under hydroponic saline conditions. All three populations accumulated two-fold higher sodium in roots than shoots as a function of increased electrical conductivity. At least 50% of differentially expressed genes (p < 0.05) were down-regulated in the salt-sensitive population growing under high salinity, while expression remained unchanged in the saline-tolerant populations. In particular, most reduction in transcript levels in the salt-sensitive population was observed in genes specifying cell wall structural components, lipids, secondary metabolism, auxin and ethylene hormones, development, transport, signalling, heat shock, proteolysis, pathogenesis-response, abiotic stress, RNA processing, and protein metabolism. Transcript diversity for transcription factors, protein modification, and protein degradation genes was also more strongly affected in salt-tolerant CW064027 than in salt-tolerant Bridgeview and salt-sensitive Rangelander, while both saline-tolerant populations showed more substantial up-regulation in redox-related genes and B-ZIP transcripts. The report highlights the first use of bulked genotypes as replicated samples to compare the transcriptomes of obligate out-cross breeding populations in alfalfa.


RNA-Seq; abiotic stress; alfalfa; luzerne; salinity; salinité; stress abiotique; transcriptome

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center