U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Document Type


Date of this Version



Plant Science 180 (2011) 796–801; doi:10.1016/j.plantsci.2011.02.001


Salinity is an important environmental factor limiting growth and productivity of plants, and affects almost every aspect of the plant physiology and biochemistry. The objective of this study was to apply cDNA-AFLP and to identify differentially expressed genes in response to NaCl stress vs. no-stress in Populus simonii × Populus nigra in order to develop genetic resources for genetic improvement. Selective amplification with 64 primer combinations allowed the visualization of 4407 transcript-derived fragments (TDFs), and 2027 were differentially expressed. Overall, 107 TDFs were re-sequenced successfully, and 86 unique sequences were identified in 10 functional categories based on their putative functions. A subset of these genes was selected for real-time PCR validation, which confirmed the differential expression patterns in the leaf tissues under NaCl stress vs. no stress. Differential expressed genes will be studied further for association with salt or drought-tolerance in P. simonii×P. nigra. This study suggests that cDNA-AFLP is a useful tool to serve as an initial step for characterizing transcriptional changes induced by NaCl salinity stress in P. simonii×P. nigra and provides resources for further study and application in genetic improvement and breeding. All unique sequences have been deposited in the Genbank as accession numbers GW672587–GW672672 for public use.