Genes, Vol. 8, Pages 372: Tissue-Specific Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Multiple Responses to Salt Stress in Populus euphratica Seedlings Genes doi: 10.3390/genes8120372 Authors: Le Yu Jianchao Ma Zhimin Niu Xiaotao Bai Wenli Lei Xuemin Shao Ningning Chen Fangfang Zhou Dongshi Wan Salt stress is one of the most crucial factors impacting plant growth, development and reproduction. However, information regarding differences in tissue-specific gene expression patterns, which may improve a plant’s tolerance to salt stress, is limited. Here, we investigated the gene expression patterns in tissues of Populus euphratica Oliv. seedlings using RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) technology. A total of 109.3 million, 125bp paired-end clean reads were generated, and 6428, 4797, 2335 and 3358 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in leaf, phloem, xylem and root tissues, respectively. While the tissue-specific DEGs under salt stress had diverse functions, “membrane transporter activity” was the most significant leaf function, whereas “oxidation–reduction process” was the most significant function in root tissue. Further analysis of the tissue-specific DEGs showed that the expression patterns or functions of gene families, such as SOS, NHX, GolS, GPX, APX, RBOHF and CBL, were diverse, suggesting that calcium signaling, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and salt overly sensitive (SOS) pathways are all involved in ionic homeostasis in tissues from P. euphratica seedlings. The DEGs, for example the up-regulated antioxidant genes, contribute to ROS-scavenging induced by salt stress but result in decreased Na+ concentrations in root vasculature cells and in xylem sap, while the down-regulated rbohF leads to the reverse results. These results suggest that the divergence of DEGs expression patterns contribute to maintenance of ionic and ROS homeostasis in tissues and improve plant salinity tolerance. We comprehensively analyzed the response of P. euphratica seedlings to salt stress and provide helpful genetic resources for studying plant-abiotic stress interactions.