This work provides an overview of the mechanisms of Cistus albidus acclimation to long-term summer drought followed by re-watering in Mediterranean field conditions. To better understand the molecular mechanisms of drought resistance in these plants, a proteomic study using 2-DE and MALDI-TOF/TOF MS/MS was performed on leaves from these shrubs. The analysis identified 57 differentially expressed proteins in water-stressed plants when contrasted to well watered. Water-stressed plants showed an increase, both qualitatively and quantitatively, in HSPs, and downregulation of photosynthesis and carbon metabolism enzymes. Under drought conditions, there was considerable upregulation of enzymes related to redox homeostasis, DHA reductase, Glyoxalase, SOD and isoflavone reductase. However, upregulation of catalase was not observed until after re-watering was carried out. Drought treatment caused an enhancement in antioxidant defense responses that can be modulated by ABA, and its catabolites, ABA-GE, as well as JA. Furthermore, quantification of protein carbonylation was shown to be a useful marker of the relationship between water and oxidative stress, and showed that there was only moderate oxidative stress in C. albidus plants subjected to water stress. After re-watering plants recovered although the levels of ABA-GE and antioxidant enzymes still remain higher than in well-watered plants. We expect that our results will provide new data on summer acclimation to drought stress in Mediterranean shrubs.
Main conclusion: The interaction between enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants, endogenous levels of ABA and ABA-GE, the rapid recuperation of photosynthetic proteins under re-watering as well the high level of antioxidant proteins in previously drought-stressed plants under re-watering conditions, will contribute to drought resistance in plants subjected to a long-term drought stress under Mediterranean field conditions.
- Plant hormones
- Protein carbonylation
- Water stress