Comparative profiling of membrane lipids during water stress in Thellungiella salsuginea and its relative Arabidopsis thaliana

Buzhu Yu, Weiqi Li
Phytochemistry 2014, 108: 77-86
The remodelling of membrane lipids contributes to the tolerance of plants to stresses, such as freezing and deprivation of phosphorus. However, whether and how this remodelling relates to tolerance of PEG-induced osmotic stress has seldom been reported. Thellungiella salsuginea is a popular extremophile model for studies of stress tolerance. In this study, it was demonstrated that T. salsuginea was more tolerant to PEG-induced osmotic stress than its close relative Arabidopsis thaliana. Lipidomic analysis indicated that plastidic lipids are more sensitive to PEG-induced osmotic stress than extra-plastidic ones in both species, and that the changes in plastidic lipids differed markedly between them. PEG-induced osmotic stress led to a dramatic decrease in levels of plastidic lipids in A. thaliana, whereas the change in plastidic lipid in T. salsuginea involved an adaptive remodelling shortly after the onset of PEG-induced osmotic stress. The two aspects of this remodelling involved increases in (1) the level of plastidic lipids, especially digalactosyl diacylglycerol, and (2) the double bond index of plastidic lipids. These remodelling steps could maintain the integrity and improve the fluidity of plastidic membranes and this may contribute to the PEG-induced osmotic stress tolerance of T. salsuginea.

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