The desiccation tolerant bryophyte Bryum argenteum is an important component of desert biological soil crusts (BSCs) and is emerging as a model system for studying vegetative desiccation tolerance. Here we present and analyze the hydration-dehydration-rehydration transcriptomes in B. argenteum to establish a desiccation-tolerance transcriptomic atlas. B. argenteum gametophores representing five different hydration stages (hydrated (H0), dehydrated for 2 h (D2), 24 h (D24), then rehydrated for 2 h (R2) and 48 h (R48)), were sampled for transcriptome analyses. Illumina high throughput RNA-Seq technology was employed and generated more than 488.46 million reads. An in-house de novo transcriptome assembly optimization pipeline based on Trinity assembler was developed to obtain a reference Hydration-Dehydration-Rehydration (H-D-R) transcriptome comprising of 76,206 transcripts, with an N50 of 2,016 bp and average length of 1,222 bp. Comprehensive transcription factor (TF) annotation discovered 978 TFs in 62 families, among which 404 TFs within 40 families were differentially expressed upon dehydration-rehydration. Pfam term enrichment analysis revealed 172 protein families/domains were significantly associated with the H-D-R cycle and confirmed early rehydration (i.e. the R2 stage) as exhibiting the maximum stress-induced changes in gene expression.
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