Halophytes have evolved unique molecular strategies to overcome high soil salinity but we still know very little about the main mechanisms that these plants use to complete their lifecycle under salinity stress. One useful approach to further our understanding in this area is to directly compare the response to salinity of two closely related species which show diverse levels of salt tolerance. Here we present a comparative proteomic study using DIGE of leaf microsomal proteins to identify salt-responsive membrane associated proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana (a glycophyte) and Thellungiella salsuginea (a halophyte). While a small number of distinct protein abundance changes were observed upon salt stress in both species, the most notable differences were observed between species and specifically, in untreated plants with a total of 36 proteins displaying significant abundance changes. Gene ontology (GO) term enrichment analysis showed that the majority of these proteins were distributed into two functional categories; transport (31%) and carbohydrate metabolism (17%). Results identify several novel salt responsive proteins in this system and support the theory that T. salsuginea shows a high degree of salt-tolerance because molecular mechanisms are primed to deal with the stress. This intrinsic ability to anticipate salinity stress distinguishes it from the glycophyte A. thaliana.
Vera-Estrella, R, Barkla, BJ & Pantoja, O 2014, 'Comparative 2D-DIGE analysis of salinity responsive microsomal proteins from leaves of salt-sensitive Arabidopsis thaliana and salt-tolerant Thellungiella salsuginea', Journal of Proteomics, vol. 111, pp. 113-127.
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