Potassium (K) deficiency is one of the major factors affecting crop growth and productivity. Development of low-K tolerant crops is an effective approach to solve the nutritional deficiency in agricultural production. Tibetan annual wild barley is rich in genetic diversity and can grow normally under poor soils, including low-K supply. However, the molecular mechanism about low K tolerance is still poorly understood. In this study, Illumina RNA-Sequencing was performed using two Tibetan wild barley genotypes differing in low K tolerance (XZ153, tolerant and XZ141, sensitive), to determine the genotypic difference in transcriptome profiling. We identified a total of 692 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in two genotypes at 6 h and 48 h after low-K treatment, including transcription factors, transporters and kinases, oxidative stress and hormone signaling related genes. Meanwhile, 294 low-K tolerant associated DEGs were assigned to transporter and antioxidant activities, stimulus response, and other gene ontology (GO), which were mainly involved in starch and sucrose metabolism, lipid metabolism and ethylene biosynthesis. Finally, a hypothetical model of low-K tolerance mechanism in XZ153 was presented. It may be concluded that wild barley accession XZ153 has a higher capability of K absorption and use efficiency than XZ141 under low K stress. A rapid response to low K stress in XZ153 is attributed to its more K uptake and accumulation in plants, resulting in higher low K tolerance. The ethylene response pathway may account for the genotypic difference in low-K tolerance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas