• Carbon isotope discrimination;
  • Chloroplast;
  • Open field experiment;
  • Plant proteomics;
  • Poplar;
  • Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase activase


Genetic variation of leaf proteome in drought response was investigated among eight Populus ×euramericana genotypes contrasting for their leaf carbon isotope discrimination (Δ), an estimate of intrinsic water-use efficiency. Plants were grown in open field on two similar plots. Drought was induced by an 86-day irrigation cessation on one plot, whereas a second plot remained regularly irrigated. Using 2-DE, 863 reproducible spots were detected; about 60% presented at least one significant effect i.e. treatment, genotype and/or genotype by treatment interaction effect. A significant genotype by treatment interaction was detected for 62 reliably identified proteins among which, about 65% consisted in chloroplast-associated proteins either involved in the Calvin cycle or in the electron-transport chains. The other proteins were involved in oxidative stress, amino acid or protein metabolisms. Correlations between protein abundance and Δ variations were found for 45 reliably identified proteins. The abundance of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase activase isoforms scaled negatively with Δ regardless of the treatment, suggesting that a large intrinsic water-use efficiency could be due to higher abundance of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase activase. Under control condition, abundance of enzymes involved in carbon fixation was also negatively correlated with Δ, whereas abundance of enzymes involved in photorespiration or respiration was positively correlated with Δ.