Journal Article

The proteome of <i>Populus nigra</i> woody root: response to bending

Dalila Trupiano, Mariapina Rocco, Giovanni Renzone, Andrea Scaloni, Vincenzo Viscosi, Donato Chiatante and Gabriella S. Scippa

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 110, issue 2, pages 415-432
Published in print July 2012 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online March 2012 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI:
The proteome of Populus nigra woody root: response to bending

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  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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Background and Aims

Morphological and biomechanical alterations occurring in woody roots of many plant species in response to mechanical stresses are well documented; however, little is known about the molecular mechanisms regulating these important alterations. The first forest tree genome to be decoded is that of Populus, thereby providing a tool with which to investigate the mechanisms controlling adaptation of woody roots to changing environments. The aim of this study was to use a proteomic approach to investigate the response of Populus nigra woody taproot to mechanical stress.


To simulate mechanical perturbations, the taproots of 30 one-year-old seedlings were bent to an angle of 90 ° using a steel net. A spatial and temporal two-dimensional proteome map of the taproot axis was obtained. We compared the events occurring in the above-bending, central bending and below-bending sectors of the taproot.

Key Results

The first poplar woody taproot proteome map is reported here; a total of 207 proteins were identified. Spatial and temporal proteomic analysis revealed that factors involved in plant defence, metabolism, reaction wood formation and lateral root development were differentially expressed in the various sectors of bent vs. control roots, seemingly in relation to the distribution of mechanical forces along the stressed woody taproots. A complex interplay among different signal transduction pathways involving reactive oxygen species appears to modulate these responses.


Poplar woody root uses different temporal and spatial mechanisms to respond to mechanical stress. Long-term bending treatment seem to reinforce the defence machinery, thereby enabling the taproot to better overcome winter and to be ready to resume growth earlier than controls.

Keywords: Growth cycle; mechanical stress; Populus nigra; proteomics; proteome; roots

Journal Article.  11184 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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