Drought and recovery: independently regulated processes highlighting the importance of protein turnover dynamics and translational regulation in Medicago truncatula

Authors/others:Lyon, David; Castillejo, Maria-Angeles; Mehmeti-Tershani, Vlora; Staudinger, Christiana; Kleemaier, Christoph (Universität Wien); Wienkoop, Stefanie

Climate change in conjunction with population growth necessitates a systems biology approach to characterize plant drought acclimation as well as a more thorough understanding of the molecular mechanisms of stress recovery. Plants are exposed to a continuously changing environment. Extremes such as several weeks of drought are followed by rain. This requires a molecular plasticity of the plant enabling drought acclimation and the necessity of deacclimation processes for recovery and continuous growth. During drought stress and subsequent recovery, the metabolome and proteome are regulated through a sequence of molecular processes including synthesis and degradation and molecular interaction networks are part of this regulatory process. In order to study this complex regulatory network, a comprehensive analysis is presented for the first time, investigating protein turnover and regulatory classes of proteins and metabolites during a stress recovery scenario in the model legume Medicago truncatula. The data give novel insights into the molecular capacity and differential processes required for acclimation and deacclimation of severe drought stressed plants. Functional cluster and network analyses unraveled independent regulatory mechanisms for stress and recovery with different dynamic phases that during the course of recovery define the plants deacclimation from stress. The combination of relative abundance levels and turnover analysis revealed an early transition phase that seems key for recovery initiation through water re-supply and is independent from re-nutrition. Thus, evidence for a metabolite and protein based load capacity was observed necessary for the recovery from drought, an important but thus far ignored feature towards tolerance. The data indicate that apart from the plants molecular stress response mechanisms, plasticity may be related to the nutritional status of the plant prior to stress initiation. A new perspective and possible new targets as well as metabolic mechanisms for future plant-bioengineering towards enhanced drought stress tolerance are presented.

Date of publication:21.3.2016
Journal title:Molecular and Cellular Proteomics
Peer reviewed:true
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/mcp.M115.049205
Bibliographical note:Copyright © 2016, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Publication Type:Article