This study aimed to explore high-throughput cDNA array monitoring technology and to apply it to the gene expression spectrum analysis of salinity-challenged tobacco plants. A Nicotiana tabacum cDNA library was sequenced and found to consist of 5927 high-quality sequences (GenBank accession nos CV015900-CV021826). By analysing the expressed sequence tags (ESTs), the proportion of N. tabacum genes was identified at the EST level. A cDNA array was constructed based on the tentative unique transcripts (TUTs) derived from EST assembling results. A total of 42 differentially expressed genes were identified, including plasma membrane intrinsic protein 2a, ethylene-responsive proteinase and pre-mRNA splicing factor prp31 gene, suggesting that there was a complicated biological response in N. tabacum under saline stress.