Enhanced reactive oxygen detoxification occurs in salt-stressed soybean roots expressing GmSALT3

Physiol Plant. 2022 May 17;e13709. doi: 10.1111/ppl.13709. Online ahead of print.


Soybean (Glycine max) is an important crop globally for food and edible oil production. Soybean plants are sensitive to salinity (NaCl), with significant yield decreases reported under saline conditions. GmSALT3 is the dominant gene underlying a major QTL for salt tolerance in soybean. GmSALT3 encodes a transmembrane protein belonging to the plant cation/proton exchanger (CHX) family, and is predominately expressed in root phloem and xylem associated cells under both saline and non-saline conditions. It is currently unknown through which molecular mechanism(s) the ER-localised GmSALT3 contributes to salinity tolerance, as its localisation excludes direct involvement in ion exclusion. In order to gain insights into potential molecular mechanism(s), we used RNA-seq analysis of roots from two soybean NILs (Near Isogenic Lines); NIL-S (salt-sensitive, Gmsalt3) and NIL-T (salt-tolerant, GmSALT3), grown under control and saline conditions (200 mM NaCl) at three time points (0h, 6h, and 3 days). Gene ontology (GO) analysis showed that NIL-T has greater responses aligned to oxidation reduction. ROS were less abundant and scavenging enzyme activity was greater in NIL-T, consistent with the RNA-seq data. Further analysis indicated that genes related to calcium signalling, vesicle trafficking and Casparian strip (CS) development were upregulated in NIL-T following salt treatment. We propose that GmSALT3 improves the ability of NIL-T to cope with saline stress through preventing ROS overaccumulation in roots, and potentially modulating Ca2+ signalling, vesicle trafficking and formation of diffusion barriers. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.