Physiological and proteomic characterization of salt tolerance in a mangrove plant, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza (L.) Lam

Zhu Zhu, Juan Chen, Hai-Lei Zheng
Tree Physiology 2012, 32 (11): 1378-88
Salinity is a major abiotic stress that is responsible for growth reduction in most higher plants. Bruguiera gymnorrhiza (L.) Lam., a mangrove plant, is a halophyte and is one of the most salt-tolerant plant species. Physiological and proteomic characteristics of B. gymnorrhiza were investigated under three NaCl concentrations (0, 200 and 500 mM) in this study. Maximum seedling growth occurred at 200 mM NaCl. Leaf osmotic potential was more negative as salt levels increased further. Physiological results revealed that inorganic ions (especially Na(+) and Cl(-)) played a key role in osmotic adjustment of B. gymnorrhiza leaves under salinity treatments. Comparative proteomic analysis revealed 23 salt-responsive proteins in B. gymnorrhiza leaves, which were differentially expressed under salt treatment compared with control. Ten protein spots were analyzed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, leading to identification of proteins involved in photosynthesis, antioxidation, protein folding, cell organization and metabolism. Salt-responsive mechanism was different between 200 and 500 mM NaCl-treated plants on the basis of the physiological and proteomic analyses. Salt tolerance under 200 mM NaCl treatment was due to effective osmotic adjustment, accumulation of inorganic ions (especially Na(+) and Cl(-)) as well as increased expression of photosynthesis-related proteins and antioxidant enzymes, which improved the salt tolerance of B. gymnorrhiza, and furthermore promoted plant growth. On the other hand, 500 mM NaCl reduced the growth of B. gymnorrhiza, which appears to have been caused by the accumulation of NaCl (ionic effect) and energy consumption by organic solute synthesis. Moreover, the repressed expression of photosynthesis-related proteins and antioxidant enzymes led to the reduction of growth. Protein folding and degradation-related proteins and cell organization-related protein were up-regulated and played important roles in salt tolerance of B. gymnorrhiza under severe salt stress.

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