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Comparative Proteomics of Contrasting Maize Genotypes Provides Insights into Salt-Stress Tolerance Mechanisms

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posted on 01.12.2017, 00:00 by Meijie Luo, Yanxin Zhao, Yuandong Wang, Zi Shi, Panpan Zhang, Yunxia Zhang, Wei Song, Jiuran Zhao
Salt stress is a major abiotic factor limiting maize yield. To characterize the mechanism underlying maize salt tolerance, we compared the seedling root proteomes of salt-tolerant Jing724 and salt-sensitive D9H. The germination rate and growth parameter values (weight and length) were higher for Jing724 than for D9H under saline conditions. Using an iTRAQ-based method, we identified 513 differentially regulated proteins (DRPs), with 83 and 386 DRPs specific to Jing724 and D9H, respectively. In salt-stressed Jing724, the DRPs were primarily associated with the pentose phosphate pathway, glutathione metabolism, and nitrogen metabolism. Key DRPs, such as glucose-6-phosphate 1-dehydrogenase, NADPH-producing dehydrogenase, glutamate synthase, and glutamine synthetase, were identified based on pathway enrichment and protein–protein interaction analyses. Moreover, salt-responsive proteins in Jing724 seedlings were implicated in energy management, maintenance of redox homeostasis, detoxification of ammonia, regulation of osmotic homeostasis, stress defense and adaptation, biotic cross-tolerance, and regulation of gene expression. Quantitative analyses of superoxide dismutase activity, malondialdehyde content, relative electrolyte leakage, and proline content were consistent with the predicted changes based on DRP functions. Furthermore, changes in the abundance of eight representative DRPs were correlated with the corresponding mRNA levels. Our results may be useful for elucidating the molecular networks mediating salt tolerance.