Transcriptome Profiling and Functional Validation of RING-Type E3 Ligases in Halophyte Sesuvium verrucosum under Salinity Stress

Fayas Thayale Purayil, Naganeeswaran Sudalaimuthuasari, Ling Li, Ruwan Aljneibi, Aysha Mohammed Khamis Al Shamsi, Nelson David, Martin Kottackal, Mariam Alzaabi, Jithin Balan, Shyam S. Kurup, Khaled Michel Hazzouri, Khaled M.A. Amiri

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Owing to their sessile nature, plants have developed a tapestry of molecular and physiological mechanisms to overcome diverse environmental challenges, including abiotic stresses. Adaptive radiation in certain lineages, such as Aizoaceae, enable their success in colonizing arid regions and is driven by evolutionary selection. Sesuvium verrucosum (commonly known as Western sea-purslane) is a highly salt-tolerant succulent halophyte belonging to the Aizoaceae family; thus, it provides us with the model-platform for studying plant adaptation to salt stress. Various transcriptional and translational mechanisms are employed by plants to cope with salt stress. One of the systems, namely, ubiquitin-mediated post-translational modification, plays a vital role in plant tolerance to abiotic stress and other biological process. E3 ligase plays a central role in target recognition and protein specificity in ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation. Here, we characterize E3 ligases in Sesuvium verrucosum from transcriptome analysis of roots in response to salinity stress. Our de novo transcriptome assembly results in 131,454 transcripts, and the completeness of transcriptome was confirmed by BUSCO analysis (99.3% of predicted plant-specific ortholog genes). Positive selection analysis shows 101 gene families under selection; these families are enriched for abiotic stress (e.g., osmotic and salt) responses and proteasomal ubiquitin-dependent protein catabolic processes. In total, 433 E3 ligase transcripts were identified in S. verrucosum; among these transcripts, single RING-type classes were more abundant compared to multi-subunit RING-type E3 ligases. Additionally, we compared the number of single RING-finger E3 ligases with ten different plant species, which confirmed the abundance of single RING-type E3 ligases in different plant species. In addition, differential expression analysis showed significant changes in 13 single RING-type E3 ligases (p-value < 0.05) under salinity stress. Furthermore, the functions of the selected E3 ligases genes (12 genes) were confirmed by yeast assay. Among them, nine genes conferred salt tolerance in transgenic yeast. This functional assay supports the possible involvement of these E3 ligase in salinity stress. Our results lay a foundation for translational research in glycophytes to develop stress tolerant crops.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2821
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2022


  • E3 ligase
  • Root transcriptome
  • Salinity stress
  • Sesuvium verrucosum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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