Insights into salt tolerance from the genome of Thellungiella salsuginea.
Thellungiella salsuginea, a close relative of Arabidopsis, represents an extremophile model for abiotic stress tolerance studies. We present the draft sequence of the T. salsuginea genome, assembled based on ∼134-fold coverage to seven chromosomes with a coding capacity of at least 28,457 genes. This genome provides resources and evidence about the nature of defense mechanisms constituting the genetic basis underlying plant abiotic stress tolerance. Comparative genomics and experimental analyses identified genes related to cation transport, abscisic acid signaling, and wax production prominent in T. salsuginea as possible contributors to its success in stressful environments.