Aluminum (Al) toxicity is an important factor in limiting peanut growth on acidic soil. The molecular mechanisms underlying peanut responses to Al stress are largely unknown. In this study, we performed transcriptome analysis of the root tips (0-1 cm) of peanut cultivar ZH2 (Al-sensitive) and 99-1507 (Al-tolerant) respectively. Root tips of peanuts that treated with 100 μM Al for 8 h and 24 h were analyzed by RNA-Seq, and a total of 8,587 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified. GO and KEGG pathway analysis excavated a group of important Al-responsive genes related to organic acid transport, metal cation transport, transcription regulation and programmed cell death (PCD). These homologs were promising targets to modulate Al tolerance in peanuts. It was found that the rapid transcriptomic response to Al stress in 99-1507 helped to activate effective Al tolerance mechanisms. Protein and protein interaction analysis indicated that MAPK signal transduction played important roles in the early response to Al stress in peanuts. Moreover, weighted correlation network analysis (WGCNA) identified a predicted EIL (EIN3-like) gene with greatly increased expression as an Al-associated gene, and revealed a link between ethylene signaling transduction and Al resistance related genes in peanut, which suggested the enhanced signal transduction mediated the rapid transcriptomic responses. Our results revealed key pathways and genes associated with Al stress, and improved the understanding of Al response in peanut.
Keywords: Aluminum stress; Arachis hypogaea; Differentially expressed genes; Programmed cell death; Transcriptome analysis.
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