Molecular mechanisms underlying sugarcane response to aluminum stress by rna-seq

Thiago Mateus Rosa-Santos, Renan Gonçalves da Silva, Poornasree Kumar, Pratibha Kottapalli, Chiquito Crasto, Kameswara Rao Kottapalli, Suzelei Castro França, Sonia Marli Zingaretti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Some metals are beneficial to plants and contribute to critical physiological processes. Some metals, however, are not. The presence of aluminum ions (Al3+ ) can be very toxic, especially in acidic soils. Considerable parts of the world’s arable land are acidic in nature; mechanistically elucidating a plant’s response to aluminum stress is critical to mitigating this stress and improving the quality of plants. To identify the genes involved in sugarcane response to aluminum stress, we generated 372 million paired-end RNA sequencing reads from the roots of CTC-2 and RB855453, which are two contrasting cultivars. Data normalization resulted in 162,161 contigs (contiguous sequences) and 97,335 genes from a de novo transcriptome assembly (trinity genes). A total of 4858 and 1307 differently expressed genes (DEGs) for treatment versus control were identified for the CTC-2 and RB855453 cultivars, respectively. The DEGs were annotated into 34 functional categories. The majority of the genes were upregulated in the CTC-2 (tolerant cultivar) and downregulated in RB855453 (sensitive cultivar). Here, we present the first root transcriptome of sugarcane under aluminum stress. The results and conclusions of this study are a crucial launch pad for future genetic and genomic studies of sugarcane. The transcriptome analysis shows that sugarcane tolerance to aluminum may be explained by an efficient detoxification mechanism combined with lateral root formation and activation of redox enzymes. We also present a hypothetical model for aluminum tolerance in the CTC-2 cultivar.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7934
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • Aluminum ions (Al )
  • Auxin signaling
  • Detoxification
  • Saccharum


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