Temporal progression of gene expression responses to salt shock in maize roots

Hong Wang, Saori Miyazaki, Kiyoshi Kawai, Michael Deyholos, David W. Galbraith, Hans J. Bohnert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Using a cDNA microarray containing 7943 ESTs, the behavior of the maize root transcriptome has been monitored in a time course for 72 h after imposition of salinity stress (150 mM NaCl). Under these conditions, root sodium amounts increased faster than in leaves, and root potassium decreased significantly. Although the overall free amino acid concentration was not affected, amino acid composition was changed with proline and asparagine increasing. Microarray analysis identified 916 ESTs representing genes whose steady-state RNA levels were significantly altered at various time points, corresponding to 11% of the ESTs printed. The response of the transcriptome to sub-lethal salt stress was rapid and transient, leading to a burst of changes at the three-hour time point. The salt-regulated ESTs represented 472 tentatively unique genes (TUGs), which, based on functional category analysis, are involved in a broad range of cellular and biochemical activities, prominent amongst which were transport and signal transduction pathways. Clustering of regulated transcripts based on the timing and duration of changes suggests a structured succession of induction and repression for salt responsive genes in multiple signal and response cascades. Within this framework, 16 signaling molecules, including six protein kinases, two protein phosphatases and eight transcription factors, were regulated with distinct expression patterns by high salinity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)873-891
Number of pages19
JournalPlant Molecular Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2003


  • Gene expression profile
  • Microarray
  • Salt stress
  • Time course
  • Zea mays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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