Journal Article

Programmed Proteome Response for Drought Avoidance/Tolerance in the Root of a C<sub>3</sub> Xerophyte (Wild Watermelon) Under Water Deficits

Kazuya Yoshimura, Akiko Masuda, Masayoshi Kuwano, Akiho Yokota and Kinya Akashi

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 49, issue 2, pages 226-241
Published in print February 2008 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online February 2008 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pcm180
Programmed Proteome Response for Drought Avoidance/Tolerance in the Root of a C3 Xerophyte (Wild Watermelon) Under Water Deficits

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  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
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Water availability is a critical determinant for the growth and ecological distribution of terrestrial plants. Although some xerophytes are unique regarding their highly developed root architecture and the successful adaptation to arid environments, virtually nothing is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying this adaptation. Here, we report physiological and molecular responses of wild watermelon (Citrullus lanatus sp.), which exhibits extraordinarily high drought resistance. At the early stage of drought stress, root development of wild watermelon was significantly enhanced compared with that of the irrigated plants, indicating the activation of a drought avoidance mechanism for absorbing water from deep soil layers. Consistent with this observation, comparative proteome analysis revealed that many proteins induced in the early stage of drought stress are involved in root morphogenesis and carbon/nitrogen metabolism, which may contribute to the drought avoidance via the enhancement of root growth. On the other hand, lignin synthesis-related proteins and molecular chaperones, which may function in the enhancement of physical desiccation tolerance and maintenance of protein integrity, respectively, were induced mostly at the later stage of drought stress. Our findings suggest that this xerophyte switches survival strategies from drought avoidance to drought tolerance during the progression of drought stress, by regulating its root proteome in a temporally programmed manner. This study provides new insights into the complex molecular networks within plant roots involved in the adaptation to adverse environments.

Keywords: Drought — Proteome — Root — Wild watermelon — Xerophyte

Journal Article.  8434 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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