Comparative Proteomic Analysis Reveals That Antioxidant System and Soluble Sugar Metabolism Contribute to Salt Tolerance in Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) Leaves
journal contributionposted on 2018-10-15, 00:00 authored by Yanli Gao, Ruicai Long, Junmei Kang, Zhen Wang, Tiejun Zhang, Hao Sun, Xiao Li, Qingchuan Yang
Soil salinity poses a serious threat to alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) productivity. To characterize the molecular mechanisms of salinity tolerance in Medicago, the comparative proteome of leaves from Medicago sativa cv. Zhongmu No.1 (ZM1, salt-tolerant) and Medicago truncatula cv. Jemalong A17 (A17, salt-sensitive) was performed using the iTRAQ approach. A total of 438 differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) were identified, among which 282 and 120 DEPs were specific to A17 and ZM1, respectively. In salt-tolerant ZM1, key DEPs were primarily enriched in antioxidant system, starch and sucrose metabolism, and secondary metabolism. ZM1 possessed a greater ability to remove reactive oxygen species and methylglyoxal under salt stress, as demonstrated by enhancement of the antioxidant system and secondary metabolism. Moreover, ZM1 orchestrated starch and sucrose metabolism to accumulate various soluble sugars (sucrose, maltose, glucose, and trehalose), which in turn facilitate osmotic homeostasis. Salt stress dramatically inhibited photosynthesis of A17 due to the downregulation of the light-harvesting complex and photosystem II related protein. Quantitative analyses of photochemical efficiency, antioxidant enzyme activities, hydrogen peroxide, malondialdehyde, and soluble sugar contents were consistent with the alterations predicted on the basis of DEP functions. These results shed light on our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the salt tolerance of alfalfa.