Tobacco plants expressing cyanobacterial flavodoxin (Fld) show enhanced tolerance to a wide range of abiotic stresses including drought, temperature and UV. The mechanisms of adaptation to stress conditions under Fld expression are largely unknown. Here, we applied comparative proteomic analysis to uncover the changes in the proteome profile of Fld-expressing plants in response to drought stress. Using high-resolution two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, we were able to detect 930 protein spots and compare their abundance. We found changes up to 1.5 fold for 52 spots under drought in transgenic and/or wild type plants. Using combined MALDI-TOF/TOF and ESI-Q/TOF analysis 39 (24 in wild type, 11 in transgenic, and 4 in both) drought-responsive proteins (DRPs) could be identified. The majority of DRPs are known to be involved in photosynthesis, carbohydrate and energy metabolism, amino acid and protein synthesis and processing, and oxidative stress responses. Among candidate DRPs, the abundance of remurin, ferredoxin-NADP reductase, chloroplast manganese stabilizing protein-II, phosphoglycerate mutase, and glutathione S-transferase decreased in drought stressed Fld-tobacco while S-formylglutathione hydrolase and pyridoxine biosynthesis protein abundance increased. In wild type plants, drought caused a reduction of proteins related to carbohydrate metabolism. These results suggest that the stress tolerance conferred by Fld expression is strongly related to control mechanisms regarding carbohydrate and energy metabolism as well as oxidative stress responses.
- Drought stress