Choline-Mediated Lipid Reprogramming as a Dominant Salt Tolerance Mechanism in Grass Species Lacking Glycine Betaine

Kun Zhang, Weiting Lyu, Yanli Gao, Xiaxiang Zhang, Yan Sun, Bingru Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Choline, as a precursor of glycine betaine (GB) and phospholipids, is known to play roles in plant tolerance to salt stress, but the downstream metabolic pathways regulated by choline conferring salt tolerance are still unclear for non-GB-accumulating species. The objectives were to examine how choline affects salt tolerance in a non-GB-accumulating grass species and to determine major metabolic pathways of choline regulating salt tolerance involving GB or lipid metabolism. Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) plants were subjected to salt stress (100 mM NaCl) with or without foliar application of choline chloride (1 mM) in a growth chamber. Choline or GB alone and the combined application increased leaf photochemical efficiency, relative water content and osmotic adjustment and reduced leaf electrolyte leakage. Choline application had no effects on the endogenous GB content and GB synthesis genes did not show responses to choline under nonstress and salt stress conditions. GB was not detected in Kentucky bluegrass leaves. Lipidomic analysis revealed an increase in the content of monogalactosyl diacylglycerol, phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine and a decrease in the phosphatidic acid content by choline application in plants exposed to salt stress. Choline-mediated lipid reprogramming could function as a dominant salt tolerance mechanism in non-GB-accumulating grass species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2018-2030
Number of pages13
JournalPlant and Cell Physiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


  • Choline application
  • Glycine betaine
  • Glycolipids
  • Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis)
  • Phospholipids
  • Salt tolerance


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