Drought is the largest stress affecting agricultural crops, resulting in substantial reductions in yield. Plant adaptation to water stress is a complex trait involving changes in hormone signaling, physiology, and morphology. Sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] is a C4 cereal grass, agricultural staple, and is particularly drought tolerant. To better understand drought adaptation strategies, we compared the cytosolic- and organelle-enriched protein profiles of leaves from two Sorghum bicolor genotypes, RTx430 and BTx642, with differing pre-flowering drought tolerances after 8-weeks of growth under water limitation in the field. In agreement with previous findings, we observed significant drought-induced changes in the abundance of multiple heat shock proteins and dehydrins in both genotypes. Interestingly, our data suggests a larger genotype-specific drought response in protein profiles of organelles, while cytosolic responses are largely similar between genotypes. Organelle-enriched proteins whose abundance significantly changed exclusively in the pre-flowering drought tolerant genotype RTx430 upon drought stress suggest multiple mechanisms of drought tolerance. These include an RTx430-specific change in proteins associated with ABA metabolism and signal transduction, Rubisco activation, ROS scavenging, flowering-time regulation, and epicuticular wax production. We discuss the current understanding of these processes in relation to drought tolerance and their potential implications.
Revised: January 6, 2021 |
Published: December 2, 2020