Changes in the tobacco leaf apoplast proteome in response to salt stress

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Abstract

The apoplast of plant cells is a dynamic compartment involved in many processes, including maintenance of tissue shape, development, nutrition, signalling, detoxification and defence. In this work we used Nicotiana tabacum plants as a model to investigate changes in the soluble apoplast composition induced in response to salt stress. Apoplastic fluid was extracted from leaves of control plants and plants exposed to salt stress, using a vacuum infiltration procedure. Two-dimension electrophoretic analyses revealed about 150 polypeptide spots in the pH range of 3.0 to 10.0, in independent protein extracts, with a high level of reproducibility between the two sample sets. Quantitative evaluation and statistical analyses of the resolved spots in treated and untreated samples revealed 20 polypeptides whose abundance changed in response to salt stress. Mass spectroscopic peptide separation and sequencing was used to identify polypeptides affected by salt stress. While the levels of some proteins were reduced by salt-treatment, an enhanced accumulation of protein species known to be induced by biotic and abiotic stresses was observed. In particular, two chitinases and a germin-like protein increased significantly and two lipid transfer proteins were expressed entirely de novo. Some apoplastic polypeptides, involved in cell wall modifications during plant development, remained largely unchanged. The significance of these components is discussed in the context of stress responses in plants.

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