International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2020-06-01)

Comparative Transcriptome Analysis of Two Contrasting Soybean Varieties in Response to Aluminum Toxicity

  • Lijuan Zhao,
  • Jingjing Cui,
  • Yuanyuan Cai,
  • Songnan Yang,
  • Juge Liu,
  • Wei Wang,
  • Junyi Gai,
  • Zhubing Hu,
  • Yan Li

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 21, no. 4316
p. 4316


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: Aluminum (Al) toxicity is a major factor limiting crop productivity on acid soils. Soybean (Glycine max) is an important oil crop and there is great variation in Al tolerance in soybean germplasms. However, only a few Al-tolerance genes have been reported in soybean. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify candidate Al tolerance genes by comparative transcriptome analysis of two contrasting soybean varieties in response to Al stress. Two soybean varieties, M90-24 (M) and Pella (P), which showed significant difference in Al tolerance, were used for RNA-seq analysis. We identified a total of 354 Al-tolerance related genes, which showed up-regulated expression by Al in the Al-tolerant soybean variety M and higher transcript levels in M than P under Al stress. These genes were enriched in the Gene Ontology (GO) terms of cellular glucan metabolic process and regulation of transcription. Five out of 11 genes in the enriched GO term of cellular glucan metabolic process encode cellulose synthases, and one cellulose synthase gene (Glyma.02G205800) was identified as the key hub gene by co-expression network analysis. Furthermore, treatment of soybean roots with a cellulose biosynthesis inhibitor decreased the Al tolerance, indicating an important role of cellulose production in soybean tolerance to Al toxicity. This study provides a list of candidate genes for further investigation on Al tolerance mechanisms in soybean.