Identification of early salt stress responsive proteins in seedling roots of upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) employing iTRAQ-based proteomic technique

Wu Li, Fu'an Zhao, Weiping Fang, Deyi Xie, Jianan Hou, Xiaojie Yang, Yuanming Zhao, Zhongjie Tang, Lihong Nie, Shuping Lv
Frontiers in Plant Science 2015, 6: 732
Soil salinity is a major abiotic stress that limits plant growth and agricultural productivity. Upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) is highly tolerant to salinity; however, large-scale proteomic data of cotton in response to salt stress are still scant. Here, an isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)-based proteomic technique was employed to identify the early differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) from salt-treated cotton roots. One hundred and twenty-eight DEPs were identified, 76 of which displayed increased abundance and 52 decreased under salt stress conditions. The majority of the proteins have functions related to carbohydrate and energy metabolism, transcription, protein metabolism, cell wall and cytoskeleton metabolism, membrane and transport, signal transduction, in addition to stress and defense. It is worth emphasizing that some novel salt-responsive proteins were identified, which are involved in cell cytoskeleton metabolism (actin-related protein2, ARP2, and fasciclin-like arabinogalactan proteins, FLAs), membrane transport (tonoplast intrinsic proteins, TIPs, and plasma membrane intrinsic proteins, PIPs), signal transduction (leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase encoding genes, LRR-RLKs) and stress responses (thaumatin-like protein, TLP, universal stress protein, USP, dirigent-like protein, DIR, desiccation-related protein PCC13-62). High positive correlation between the abundance of some altered proteins (superoxide dismutase, SOD, peroxidase, POD, glutathione S-transferase, GST, monodehydroascorbate reductase, MDAR, and malate dehydrogenase, MDH) and their enzyme activity was evaluated. The results demonstrate that the iTRAQ-based proteomic technique is reliable for identifying and quantifying a large number of cotton root proteins. qRT-PCR was used to study the gene expression levels of the five above-mentioned proteins; four patterns are consistent with those of induced protein. These results showed that the proteome of cotton roots under NaCl stress is complex. The comparative protein profiles of roots under salinity vs control improves the understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the tolerance of plants to salt stress. This work provides a good basis for further functional elucidation of these DEPs using genetic and/or other approaches, and, consequently, candidate genes for genetic engineering to improve crop salt tolerance.


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