Analysis of N<sup>6</sup>-methyladenosine reveals a new important mechanism regulating the salt tolerance of sweet sorghum.

Zheng, Hongxiang, Sun, Xi, Li, Jinlu, Song, Yushuang, Song, Jie, Wang, Fang, Liu, Luning ORCID: 0000-0002-8884-4819, Zhang, Xiansheng and Sui, Na
(2021) Analysis of N<sup>6</sup>-methyladenosine reveals a new important mechanism regulating the salt tolerance of sweet sorghum. Plant science : an international journal of experimental plant biology, 304. 110801 - ?.

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The N<sup>6</sup>-methyladenosine (m<sup>6</sup>A) modification is the most common internal post-transcriptional modification, with important regulatory effects on RNA export, splicing, stability, and translation. Studies on the m<sup>6</sup>A modifications in plants have focused on Arabidopsis thaliana growth and development. However, A. thaliana is a salt-sensitive and model plant species. Thus, studies aimed at characterizing the role of the m<sup>6</sup>A modification in the salt stress responses of highly salt-tolerant crop species are needed. Sweet sorghum is cultivated as an energy and forage crop, which is highly suitable for growth on saline-alkaline land. Exploring the m<sup>6</sup>A modification in sweet sorghum may be important for elucidating the salt-resistance mechanism of crops. In this study, we mapped the m<sup>6</sup>A modifications in two sorghum genotypes (salt-tolerant M-81E and salt-sensitive Roma) that differ regarding salt tolerance. The m<sup>6</sup>A modification in sweet sorghum under salt stress was drastically altered, especially in Roma, where the m<sup>6</sup>A modification on mRNAs of some salt-resistant related transcripts increased, resulting in enhanced mRNA stability, which in turn was involved in the regulation of salt tolerance in sweet sorghum. Although m<sup>6</sup>A modifications are important for regulating sweet sorghum salt tolerance, the regulatory activity is limited by the initial m<sup>6</sup>A modification level. Additionally, in M-81E and Roma, the differences in the m<sup>6</sup>A modifications were much greater than the differences in gene expression levels and are more sensitive. Our study suggests that the number and extent of m<sup>6</sup>A modifications on the transcripts of salt-resistance genes may be important factors for determining and assessing the salt tolerance of crops.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2020 09:44
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2021 07:30
DOI: 10.1016/j.plantsci.2020.110801