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Article|09 Dec 2022|OPEN
Identification of birch lncRNAs and mRNAs responding to salt stress and characterization of functions of lncRNA 
Yaqi Jia1 ,† , Huimin Zhao1 ,† , Yani Niu1 and Yucheng Wang,1,2 ,
1State Key Laboratory of Tree Genetics and Breeding, Northeast Forestry University, 26 Hexing Road, Harbin 150040, China
2Key Laboratory of Forest Tree Genetic Breeding and Cultivation of Liaoning Province, Shenyang Agricultural University, 120 Dongling Road, Shenyang 110866, China
*Corresponding author. E-mail:
Both authors contributed equally to the study.

Horticulture Research 10,
Article number: uhac277 (2023)
Views: 247

Received: 28 Jul 2022
Accepted: 02 Dec 2022
Published online: 09 Dec 2022


Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are important in abiotic stress tolerance. Here, we identified salt-responsive genes and lncRNAs in the roots and leaves of Betula platyphylla Suk. (birch), and characterized their lncRNAs functions. In total, 2660 mRNAs and 539 lncRNAs responding to salt treatment were identified using RNA-seq. The salt-responsive genes were substantially enriched in ‘cell wall biogenesis’ and ‘wood development’ in the roots and were enriched in ‘photosynthesis’ and ‘response to stimulus’ in the leaves. Meanwhile, the potential target genes of the salt-responsive lncRNAs in roots and leaves were both enriched in ‘nitrogen compound metabolic process’ and ‘response to stimulus’. We further built a method for quickly identifying abiotic stress tolerance of lncRNAs, which employed transient transformation for overexpression and knock-down of the lncRNA, enabling gain- and loss-of-function analysis. Using this method, 11 randomly selected salt-responsive lncRNAs were characterized. Among them, six lncRNAs confer salt tolerance, two lncRNAs confer salt sensitivity, and the other three lncRNAs are not involved in salt tolerance. In addition, a lncRNA, LncY1, was further characterized, which improves salt tolerance by regulating two transcription factors, BpMYB96 and BpCDF3. Taken together, our results suggested that lncRNAs play important roles in the salt response of birch plants.