Proteomics study reveals the molecular mechanisms underlying water stress tolerance induced by Piriformospora indica in barley

Mehdi Ghabooli, Behnam Khatabi, Farajolah Shahriary Ahmadi, Mozhgan Sepehri, Mehdi Mirzaei, Ardeshir Amirkhani, Jesús V. Jorrín-Novo, Ghasem Hosseini Salekdeh*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    141 Citations (Scopus)


    Piriformospora indica is a mutualistic root endophytic fungus, which transfers several benefits to hosts including enhance plant growth and increase yield under both normal and stress conditions. It has been shown that P. indica root-colonization enhances water stress tolerance based on general and non-specific plant-species mechanism. To better understand the molecular mechanism of P. indica-mediated drought stress tolerance, we designed a set of comparative experiments to study the impact of P. indica on barely plants cultivar "Golden Promise" grown under different drought levels [Filed capacity (F.C.) and 25% F.C.]. P. indica enhanced root and shoot biomass of colonized plants under both well-watered and water-deficit conditions. Proteome analysis of P. indica-colonized barley leaves under well-treated and water-deficit conditions resulted in detection of 726 reproducibly protein spots. Mass spectrometry analysis resulted in the identification of 45 differentially accumulated proteins involved in photosynthesis, reactive oxygen scavenging, metabolisms, signal transduction, and plant defense responses. Interestingly, P. indica increased the level of proteins involved in photosynthesis, antioxidative defense system and energy transport. We propose that P. indica-mediated drought stress tolerance in barely is through photosynthesis stimulation, energy releasing and enhanced antioxidative capacity in colonized plants. Biological significance: Plant mutualistic symbionts offer long-term abiotic stress tolerance through the host adaptation to environmental stress. There have been a few published proteomic studies of plant symbionts to drought, and this is thought to be the first proteomic analysis, demonstrating the impact of endophyte on barley plant under drought stress. For some of identified proteins like TCTP and PCNA, a connection to physiological function in plants is novel, and can be the best candidates for sources of drought tolerance in future studies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)289-301
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Proteomics
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2013


    • Antioxidants/metabolism
    • Basidiomycota/physiology
    • Energy Metabolism/physiology
    • Hordeum/metabolism
    • Photosynthesis/physiology
    • Plant Proteins/metabolism
    • Plant Roots/metabolism
    • Plant Shoots/metabolism
    • Symbiosis/physiology


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