Reference gene selection for quantitative real-time reverse-transcriptase PCR in orchardgrass subjected to various abiotic stresses.
Quantitative real-time reverse-transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR) is a powerful tool for the measurement of gene expression; however, the accuracy of this approach depends on the stability of reference genes. The objective of the present study was to identify the stable reference genes in orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.), a principal cool-season forage grass in the world. Ten candidate reference genes were selected in this study including ATP-binding [ABC], actin [ACTIN], cyclophilin [CYP2], glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase [GAPDH], beta-amylase 4 [BAM4], zeitlupe [ZTL], MAP Kinase 4 [MPK4], ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme [UBC], S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase [SAMDC], and translationally controlled tumor protein [TCTP]. The candidate genes were assessed in orchardgrass leaves and roots under conditions of drought, high salinity, heat, waterlogging, and abscisic acid (ABA) treatments. We used GeNorm, BestKeeper, NormFinder, and RefFinder for qRT-PCR normalization and validation to determine that the expression of these reference genes was stress-dependent. ACTIN, CYP2, and ABC were found to be the most stably expressed genes for drought stress while ACTIN, TCTP, and ABC were the most stable under salt stress. ACTIN, CYP2, and ABC were all found to be good reference genes for studying heat stress. Likewise, CYP2, MPK4, and ABC were most suitable to study waterlogging, and ACTIN, CYP2, and MPK4 were determined as the three best reference genes for ABA studies. Our study identified and validated the possible reference genes in orchardgrass that may be used for quantification of target gene expression under various abiotic stresses.