Down-regulation of OsPDCD5, a homolog of the mammalian PDCD5, increases rice tolerance to salt stress
We used cDNA microarrays containing approximately 9,000 unigenes to identify 486 salt responsive expressed sequence tags (ESTs) (representing approximately 450 unigenes) in shoots of the highly salt-tolerant rice variety, Nona Bokra (Oryza sativa L. ssp. Indica pv. Nona). Some of the genes identified in this study had previously been associated with salt stress. However the majority were novel, indicating that there is a great number of genes that are induced by salt exposure. Analysis of the salt stress expression profile data of Nona provided clues regarding some putative cellular and molecular processes that are undertaken by this tolerant rice variety in response to salt stress. Namely, we found that multiple transcription factors were induced during the initial salt response of shoots. Many genes whose encoded proteins are implicated in detoxification, protectant and transport were rapidly induced. Genes supporting photosynthesis were repressed and those supporting carbohydrate metabolism were altered. Commonality among the genes induced by salt exposure with those induced during senescence and biotic stress responses suggests that there are shared signaling pathways among these processes. We further compared the transcriptome changes of the salt-sensitive cultivar, IR28, with that of Nona rice. Many genes that are salt responsive in Nona were found to be differentially regulated in IR28. This study identified a large number of candidate functional genes that appear to be involved in salt tolerance and further examination of these genes may enable the molecular basis of salt tolerance to be elucidated.