Effects of salinity on the DNA methylation pattern in barley shoots

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Research Paper 01/01/2017
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Effects of salinity on the DNA methylation pattern in barley shoots

Samira Hamian, Seyyed Abolghasem Mohammadi, Mohammad Moghaddam, Ali Bande Hagh
J. Bio. Env. Sci.10( 1), 60-68, January 2017.
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Salinity is a crucial factor which inhibits crop production worldwide. Recent pieces of evidence reveal that epigenetic mechanisms modulate the gene expression in plants undergoing environmental stresses. Obviously, when the epigenetic regulation of plant growth and response to these stresses are truly understood, a novel heritable variation could be developed for crop improvement. The present study attempted to evaluate the DNA methylation alteration made by salt stress in two barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) cultivars differing in salt tolerance, namely salt-tolerant Sahara3771 and salt-sensitive Clipper. Coupled Restriction Enzyme Digestion-Random Amplification (CRED-RA) was used to detect changes in the methylation pattern of the sequence CCGG in the nuclear genome of the plants growing under salinity stress (100 mM NaCl) and normal conditions. Leaf samples for DNA extraction were harvested 24 hours, 3 weeks, and 5 weeks after salt treatment. The results revealed that the average number of sites showing an increase in the methylation level at the three growth stages with the salt-stress imposition was higher in Sahara3771 (26.21%) than in Clipper (16.32%). Moreover, the number of sites with an increase in methylation under salt stress in Sahara3771 and Clipper, 24 hours and 5 weeks after imposing stress, respectively, was higher than the number of sites at the other stages. These results indicated a significant alteration of DNA methylation in plants as a response to salt stress and the effect was dose-dependent. These changes could provide a mechanism for the adaptation of plants under salt stress.


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