The signaling processes in plants that initiate cellular responses to biotic and abiotic factors are believed to be located in the plasma membrane (PM). A better understanding of the PM proteome response to environmental stresses might lead to new strategies for improving stress-tolerant crops. A sub-cellular proteomics approach was applied to monitor changes in abundance of PM-associated protein in response to salinity, a key abiotic stress affecting rice productivity worldwide. Proteome was extracted from a root plasma-membrane-rich fraction of a rice salt tolerant variety, IR651, grown under saline and normal conditions. Comparative two-dimensional electrophoresis revealed that 24 proteins were differentially expressed in response to salt stress. From these, eight proteins were identified by mass spectrometry analysis. Most of the proteins identified are likely to be PM-associated and are known to be involved in several important mechanisms of plant adaptation to salt stress. These include regulation of PM pumps and channels, membrane structure, oxidative stress defense, signal transduction, protein folding, and the methyl cycle. To investigate the correlation between mRNA and protein level in response to salinity, we performed quantitative Real-Time PCR analysis of three genes that were salt responsive at the protein level, including 1,4-Benzoquinone reductase, a putative remorin and a hypersensitive induced response protein. No concordance was detected between the changes in levels of gene and protein expression. Our results indicate that the proteomics approach is suitable for expression analysis of membrane associated proteins under salt stress.
- Plasma membrane-associated proteins
- Two-dimensional electrophoresis