, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 143-156

Expression analysis of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) during salinity stress

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Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is a salt-tolerant crop species with considerable economic importance in salinity-affected arid and semiarid regions of the world. In this work, barley cultivar Morex was used for transcriptional profiling during salinity stress using a microarray containing ∼22,750 probe sets. The experiment was designed to target the early responses of genes to a salinity stress at seedling stage. We found a comparable number of probe sets up-regulated and down-regulated in response to salinity. The differentially expressed genes were broadly characterized using gene ontology and through expression-based hierarchical clustering to identify interesting features in the data. A prominent feature of the response to salinity was the induction of genes involved in jasmonic acid biosynthesis and genes known to respond to jasmonic acid treatment. A large number of abiotic stress (heat, drought, and low temperature) related genes were also found to be responsive to salinity stress. Our results also indicate osmoprotection to be an early response of barley under salinity stress. Additionally, we compared the results of our studies with two other reports characterizing gene expression of barley under salinity stress and found very few genes in common.