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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Department of Plant Sciences

UC Davis

Proteome analysis and pH sensitive ratio imaging: Tools to explore the decline in leaf growth under salinity


More than 50% of all irrigated areas are affected by soil salinity. In most saline environments, NaCl is the predominant salt species, whose principle adverse effect in non-resistant plants is growth reduction due to an inhibition of cell division and cell elongation caused by osmotic effects, ion toxicity, and mineral disturbances in plants. Growth reduction was more pronounced in leaves of sensitive genotypes compared to resistant genotypes. While root and shoot Na+ is an adequate parameter to describe uptake and translocation, the apoplastic pH might be a more important trait in order to describe the decline in leaf growth. Using FITC-dextran (50 µM) as a suitable fluorescent dye, a significant apoplastic alkalization of the salt-sensitive Pioneer 3906 and Vicia faba could be shown, whereas this was not valid for the more resistant maize hybrid. The adaptation to salt stress has a strong impact on the leaf proteome. We demonstrate that the activity of expansins was reduced under salt stress especially in the less resistant maize hybrid. In conclusion, the transcript level and the proteome show a higher level of β-expansin in resistant maize cultivars compared to more sensitive cultivars thus may contribute to better growth and improved salt resistance.

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