Research Article

Identification of low potassium stress-responsive proteins in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) seedling roots using an iTRAQ-based analysis

Published: August 29, 2016
Genet. Mol. Res. 15(3): gmr8573 DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15038573

Abstract

Potassium is one of the three main mineral nutrients, and is vital for leaf growth and the quality of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plants. In recent years, the isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) method has been one of the most popular techniques for quantitative proteomic analysis. In this study, we used iTRAQ to compare protein abundances in the roots of control and low potassium-treated tobacco seedlings, and found that 108 proteins were differentially expressed between the two treatments. Of these, 34 were upregulated and 74 were downregulated, and 39 (36%) were in the chloroplasts. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway enrichment results suggested that metabolic pathways were the dominant pathways (10 upregulated and 14 downregulated proteins). Ten proteins involved in the pyruvate metabolism pathway increased their expression levels, and 17 upregulated proteins were enriched in the ribosomes category. To evaluate correlations between protein and gene transcript abundances, the expression patterns of 12 randomly chosen genes were examined. A quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction revealed that the 12 genes were induced after low potassium treatment for 3, 6, 12, and 24 h. Our results demonstrate that low potassium levels affect protein profiles in tobacco roots.

Potassium is one of the three main mineral nutrients, and is vital for leaf growth and the quality of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plants. In recent years, the isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) method has been one of the most popular techniques for quantitative proteomic analysis. In this study, we used iTRAQ to compare protein abundances in the roots of control and low potassium-treated tobacco seedlings, and found that 108 proteins were differentially expressed between the two treatments. Of these, 34 were upregulated and 74 were downregulated, and 39 (36%) were in the chloroplasts. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway enrichment results suggested that metabolic pathways were the dominant pathways (10 upregulated and 14 downregulated proteins). Ten proteins involved in the pyruvate metabolism pathway increased their expression levels, and 17 upregulated proteins were enriched in the ribosomes category. To evaluate correlations between protein and gene transcript abundances, the expression patterns of 12 randomly chosen genes were examined. A quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction revealed that the 12 genes were induced after low potassium treatment for 3, 6, 12, and 24 h. Our results demonstrate that low potassium levels affect protein profiles in tobacco roots.

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