The root endophytic fungus Piriformospora indica enhances plant adaptation to environmental stress based on general and non-specific plant species mechanisms. In the present study, we integrated the ionomics, metabolomics, and transcriptomics data to identify the genes and metabolic regulatory networks conferring salt tolerance in P. indica-colonized barley plants. To this end, leaf samples were harvested at control (0 mM NaCl) and severe salt stress (300 mM NaCl) in P. indica-colonized and non-inoculated barley plants 4 weeks after fungal inoculation. The metabolome analysis resulted in an identification of a signature containing 14 metabolites and ions conferring tolerance to salt stress. Gene expression analysis has led to the identification of 254 differentially expressed genes at 0 mM NaCl and 391 genes at 300 mM NaCl in P. indica-colonized compared to non-inoculated samples. The integration of metabolome and transcriptome analysis indicated that the major and minor carbohydrate metabolism, nitrogen metabolism, and ethylene biosynthesis pathway might play a role in systemic salt-tolerance in leaf tissue induced by the root-colonized fungus.
- Salt stress tolerance