Research Article

Heat-resistant protein expression during germination of maize seeds under water stress

Abstract

Low water availability is one of the factors that limit agricultural crop development, and hence the development of genotypes with increased water stress tolerance is a challenge in plant breeding programs. Heat-resistant proteins have been widely studied, and are reported to participate in various developmental processes and to accumulate in response to stress. This study aimed to evaluate heat-resistant protein expression under water stress conditions during the germination of maize seed inbreed lines differing in their water stress tolerance. Maize seed lines 91 and 64 were soaked in 0, -0.3, -0.6, and -0.9 MPa water potential for 0, 6, 12, 18, and 24 h. Line 91 is considered more water stress-tolerant than line 64. The analysis of heat-resistant protein expression was made by gel electrophoresis and spectrophotometry. In general, higher expression of heat-resistant proteins was observed in seeds from line 64 subjected to shorter soaking periods and lower water potentials. However, in the water stress-tolerant line 91, a higher expression was observed in seeds that were subjected to -0.3 and -0.6 MPa water potentials. In the absence of water stress, heat-resistant protein expression was reduced with increasing soaking period. Thus, there was a difference in heat-resistant protein expression among the seed lines differing in water stress tolerance. Increased heat-resistant protein expression was observed in seeds from line 91 when subjected to water stress conditions for longer soaking periods.

Low water availability is one of the factors that limit agricultural crop development, and hence the development of genotypes with increased water stress tolerance is a challenge in plant breeding programs. Heat-resistant proteins have been widely studied, and are reported to participate in various developmental processes and to accumulate in response to stress. This study aimed to evaluate heat-resistant protein expression under water stress conditions during the germination of maize seed inbreed lines differing in their water stress tolerance. Maize seed lines 91 and 64 were soaked in 0, -0.3, -0.6, and -0.9 MPa water potential for 0, 6, 12, 18, and 24 h. Line 91 is considered more water stress-tolerant than line 64. The analysis of heat-resistant protein expression was made by gel electrophoresis and spectrophotometry. In general, higher expression of heat-resistant proteins was observed in seeds from line 64 subjected to shorter soaking periods and lower water potentials. However, in the water stress-tolerant line 91, a higher expression was observed in seeds that were subjected to -0.3 and -0.6 MPa water potentials. In the absence of water stress, heat-resistant protein expression was reduced with increasing soaking period. Thus, there was a difference in heat-resistant protein expression among the seed lines differing in water stress tolerance. Increased heat-resistant protein expression was observed in seeds from line 91 when subjected to water stress conditions for longer soaking periods.