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Selection of reference genes for quantitative real-time PCR in Casuarina equisetifolia under salt stress

Fan, C., Qiu, Z., Zeng, B., Liu, Y., Li, X., Guo, G.
Biologia plantarum 2017 v.61 no.3 pp. 463-472
Casuarina equisetifolia, actin, gene expression, genes, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, leaves, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, roots, salt stress, sodium chloride, tubulin, ubiquitin-protein ligase
Real time quantitative PCR (qPCR) is widely used in gene expression analysis for its accuracy and sensitivity. Reference genes serving as endogenous controls are necessary for gene normalization. In order to select an appropriate reference gene to normalize gene expression in Casuarina equisetifolia under salt stress, 10 potential reference genes were evaluated using real time qPCR in the leaves and roots of plants grown under different NaCl concentrations and treatment durations. GeNorm, NormFinder, and BestKeeper analyses reveal that elongation factor 1-alpha (EF1α) and ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme E2 (UBC) were the most appropriate reference genes for real time qPCR under salt stress. However, β-tubulin (βTUB) and actin 7, which were widely used as reference genes in other plant species, were not always stably expressed. The combination of EF1α, UBC, uncharacterized protein 2, DNAJ homolog subfamily A member 2, and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase should be ideal reference genes for normalizing gene expression data in all samples under salt stress. It indicates the need for reference gene selection for normalizing gene expression in C. equisetifolia. In addition, the suitability of reference genes selected was confirmed by validating the expression of WRKY29-like and expansin-like B1. The results enable analysis of salt response mechanism and gene expression in C. equisetifolia.