A comparative investigation was conducted to evaluate transcriptional changes in guard cells (GCs) of closely related halophytic (Chenopodium quinoa) and glycophytic (Spinacia oleracea) species. Plants were exposed to 3 weeks of 250 mM sodium chloride treatment, and GC-enriched epidermal fragments were mechanically prepared. In both species, salt-responsive genes were mainly related to categories of protein metabolism, secondary metabolites, signal transduction and transport systems. Genes related to abscisic acid (ABA) signaling and ABA biosynthesis were strongly induced in quinoa but not in spinach GCs. Also, expression of the genes encoding transporters of amino acids, proline, sugars, sucrose and potassium increased in quinoa GCs under salinity stress. Analysis of cell-wall-related genes suggests that genes involved in lignin synthesis (e.g. lignin biosynthesis LACCASE 4) were highly upregulated by salt in spinach GCs. In contrast, transcripts related to cell wall plasticity Pectin methylesterase3 (PME3) were highly induced in quinoa. Faster stomatal response to light and dark measured by observing kinetics of changes in stomatal conductance in quinoa might be associated with higher plasticity of the cell wall regulated by PME3 Furthermore, genes involved in the inhibition of stomatal development and differentiation were highly expressed by salt in quinoa, but not in spinach. These changes correlated with reduced stomatal density and index in quinoa, thus improving its water use efficiency. The fine modulation of transporters, cell wall modification and controlling stomatal development in GCs of quinoa may have resulted in high K+/Na+ ratio, lower stomatal conductance and higher stomatal speed for better adaptation to salinity stress in quinoa.
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||Plant and Cell Physiology|
|Early online date||21 Dec 2022|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Feb 2023|