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    Soil salinity is a major source of abiotic plant stress, adversely affecting plant growth, development and productivity. Although the physiological and molecular mechanisms that underlie plant responses to salt stress are becoming increasingly understood, epigenetic modifications, such as histone methylations and their potential regulation of the transcription of masked genes at the genome level in response to salt stress, remain largely unclear. Castor bean, an important nonedible oil crop, has evolved the capacity to grow under salt stress. Here, based on high-throughput RNA-seq and ChIP-seq data, we systematically investigated changes in genomic transcription and histone methylation using typical histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation (H3K4me3) and histone H3 tri-methylated lysine 27 (H3K27me3) markers in castor bean leaves subjected to salt stress. The results showed that gain or loss of histone methylation was closely associated with activated or repressed gene expression, though variations in both transcriptome and histone methylation modifications were relatively narrow in response to salt stress. Diverse salt responsive genes and switched histone methylation sites were identified in this study. In particular, we found for the first time that the transcription of the key salt-response regulator RADIALIS-LIKE SANT (RSM1), a MYB-related transcription factor involved in ABA(abscisic acid)-mediated salt stress signaling, was potentially regulated by bivalent H3K4me3-H3K27me3 modifications. Combining phenotypic variations with transcriptional and epigenetic changes, we provide a comprehensive profile for understanding histone modification, genomic transcription and their associations in response to salt stress in plants. © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email:


    Bing Han, Wei Xu, Naeem Ahmed, Anmin Yu, Zaiqing Wang, Aizhong Liu. Changes and Associations of Genomic Transcription and Histone Methylation with Salt Stress in Castor Bean. Plant & cell physiology. 2020 Jun 01;61(6):1120-1133

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    PMID: 32186723

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