Limonium bicolor seeds were obtained from plants grown in saline soil (N37°20'; E118°36') in the Yellow River Delta (Shandong Province, China) with the permission of the Dongying government. The author Baoshan Wang had formally identified L. bicolor, and the seeds harvesting process is in full compliance with relevant government guidelines. Unfortunately, we were unable to find a voucher specimen of L. bicolor stored in any publicly available herbarium. The dried seeds were stored at 4 °C for at least six months [24]. Before use, the seeds were surface-disinfected with 70% ethanol (5 min), followed by 6% (v/v) NaClO (Sigma, USA) for 17 min with shaking. The seeds were washed five times with sterile distilled water and sown on MS basal medium. The plants were cultured at 28 ± 3 °C/23 ± 3 °C (day/night) at a light intensity of 600 μmol/m2/s (15 h photoperiod) and 65% relative humidity.

The Arabidopsis thaliana ecotype Col-0 (Columbia-0) seeds used are originally preserved in our laboratory. The author Baoshan Wang had formally identified Col-0 before. The collection of seeds and the performance of experimental research on such plant were complied with the national guidelines of China. Arabidopsis thaliana ecotype Col-0 (Columbia-0) seeds were sterilized three times with 70% alcohol for four minutes each time and three times with 95% alcohol for four minutes each time. The sterilized seeds were washed with sterile distilled water and sown on 1/2MS medium. After two days of stratification at 4 °C, the plants were cultivated at 22 °C/18 °C (day/night) under a 16 h/8 h light/dark cycle with a light level of 150 μmol/m2/s and 70% relative humidity [25]. To facilitate infection and transformation by Agrobacterium tumefaciens, seedlings were cultivated for one week on 1/2MS medium and transplanted into pots (9 cm height × 9 cm diameter) filled with nutrient-rich soil (soil:vermiculite:perlite, 3:1:1).

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