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Suping Zhou, Marsha Palmer, Jing Zhou, Sarabjit Bhatti, Kevin J. Howe, Tara Fish, and Theodore W. Thannhauser

A comparative proteomics study using isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) was performed on a mesophytic tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) cultivar and a dehydration-resistant wild species (Solanum chilense) to identify proteins that play key roles in tolerance to water deficit stress. In tomato ‘Walter’ LA3465, 130 proteins were identified, of which 104 (80%) were repressed and 26 (20%) were induced. In S. chilense LA1958, a total of 170 proteins were identified with 106 (62%) repressed and 64 (38%) induced. According to their putative molecular functions, the differentially expressed proteins belong to the following subgroups: stress proteins, gene expression, nascent protein processing, protein folding, protein degradation, carbohydrate metabolism, amino acid and nucleotide metabolism, lipid metabolism, signal transduction, and cell cycle regulation. Based on changes in protein abundance induced by the dehydration treatment, cellular metabolic activities and protein biosynthesis were suppressed by the stress. In S. chilense, dehydration treatment led to elevated accumulation of proteins involved in post-transcriptional gene regulation and fidelity in protein translation including prefoldin, which promotes protein folding without the use of adenosine-5′-triphosphate (ATP), several hydrophilic proteins, and calmodulin in the calcium signal transduction pathway. Those protein changes were not found in the susceptible tomato, ‘Walter’. Within each functional protein group, proteins showing opposite changes (dehydration induced vs. repressed) in the two species were identified and roles of those proteins in conferring tolerance to water deficit stress are discussed. Information provided in this report will be useful for selection of proteins or genes in analyzing or improving dehydration tolerance in tomato cultivars.

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Peter Nveawiah-Yoho, Jing Zhou, Marsha Palmer, Roger Sauve, Suping Zhou, Kevin J. Howe, Tara Fish, and Theodore W. Thannhauser

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) has a wide variety of genotypes differing in their responses to salinity. This study was performed to identify salt-induced changes in proteomes that are distinguishable among tomatoes with contrasting salt tolerance. Tomato accessions [LA4133 (a salt-tolerant cherry tomato accession) and ‘Walter’ LA3465 (a salt-susceptible accession)] were subjected to salt treatment (200 mm NaCl) in hydroponic culture. Salt-induced changes in the root proteomes of each tomato accession were identified using the isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) method. In LA4133, 178 proteins showed significant differences between salt-treated and non-treated control root tissues (P ≤ 0.05); 169 proteins were induced (1.3- to 5.1-fold) and nine repressed (–1.7- to –1.3-fold). In LA3465, 115 proteins were induced (1.3- to 6.4-fold) and 23 repressed (–2.5- to –1.3-fold). Salt-responsive proteins from the two tomato accessions were involved in the following biological processes: root system development and structural integrity; carbohydrate metabolism; adenosine-5′-triphosphate regeneration and consumption; amino acid metabolism; fatty acid metabolism; signal transduction; cellular detoxification; protein turnover and intracellular trafficking; and molecular activities for regulating gene transcription, protein translation, and post-translational modification. Proteins affecting diverse cellular activities were identified, which include chaperonins and cochaperonins, heat-shock proteins, antioxidant enzymes, and stress proteins. Proteins exhibiting different salt-induced changes between the tolerant and susceptible tomato accessions were identified, and these proteins were divided into two groups: 1) proteins with quantitative differences because they were induced or repressed by salt stress in both accessions but at different fold levels; and 2) proteins showing qualitative differences, where proteins were induced in one vs. repressed or not changed in the other accession. Candidate proteins for tolerance to salt and secondary cellular stresses (such as hypo-osmotic stress and dehydration) were proposed based on findings from the current and previous studies on tomato and by the use of the Arabidopsis thaliana protein database. Information provided in this report will be very useful for evaluating and breeding for plant tolerance to salt and/or water deficit stresses.