Reference gene selection for qPCR in Ammopiptanthus mongolicus under abiotic stresses and expression analysis of seven ROS-scavenging enzyme genes

Plant Cell Rep. 2012 Jul;31(7):1245-54. doi: 10.1007/s00299-012-1245-9. Epub 2012 Mar 27.


Ammopiptanthus mongolicus, the only evergreen broadleaf shrub endemic to the northwest desert of China, is a valuable species for plant abiotic stress research. No report has so far described the selection of reference genes to get stringent normalization for qPCR in A. mongolicus. This work identified reliable reference genes for normalization of qPCR data in A. mongolicus under abiotic stresses from 14 reference gene candidates (UBQ, Tub1, Tub2, Abc1, Ubc1, Ubc2, Ubc4, Ubc5, eIF1, eIF2, eIF3, eIF4, EF1, EF2), and used the most suitable combination of reference genes to normalize the expression profiles of seven ROS-scavenging enzyme genes (AmSOD, AmAPX, AmGPX, AmCAT, AmGLR, AmPrx, and AmTrx). We set a series of 22 experimental samples covering the control and different time points under cold, dry, salt, and heat stresses. According to geNorm and NormFinder, the combination of eIF1 and eIF3 was best for accurate normalization across all the treatments, confirmed by normalizing qPCR data with AmHsp90. In contrast, these data show that Tub1, Abc1, and EF1 are not suitable reference gene candidates. After being normalized against eIF1 and eIF3, the seven ROS-scavenging enzyme genes exhibited differentially up- or down-regulated expression patterns. AmSOD and AmGPX were up-regulated by all four treatments, indicating that they may participate in an anti-oxidative mechanism under abiotic stresses in A. mongolicus. AmCAT exhibited a much higher expression level than AmAPX, AmPrx, and AmGPX, suggesting a principle role in detoxifying excessive H₂O₂. AmSOD, AmGPX and AmAPX showing the most abundant transcripts under heat, AmCAT and AmGLR under drought, and AmPrx under salt, were observed. Expression patterns of the seven ROS-scavenging enzyme genes suggest different antioxidant protection roles of these genes under abiotic stresses. These results are valuable for future research on gene expression and abiotic stress tolerance in A. mongolicus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dehydration
  • Down-Regulation
  • Droughts
  • Fabaceae / enzymology*
  • Fabaceae / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genes, Plant*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Reference Standards
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sodium Chloride / pharmacology
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Temperature
  • Transcriptome
  • Up-Regulation


  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Sodium Chloride