Functional & Integrative Genomics

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 17–26 | Cite as

Xylem sap in cotton contains proteins that contribute to environmental stress response and cell wall development

  • Zhiyong Zhang
  • Wanwan Xin
  • Sufang Wang
  • Xin Zhang
  • Haifang Dai
  • Runrun Sun
  • Taylor Frazier
  • Baohong Zhang
  • Qinglian Wang
Original Paper


The xylem sap of a plant is primarily responsible for transporting molecules from the underground root system to the aboveground parts of the plant body. In order to understand the role that roots play in cotton growth and development, the components present in xylem sap must be elucidated. In this study, we used a shotgun HPLC-ESI-MS/MS proteomics approach to identify 455 peptides from the xylem sap of field-grown cotton plants at peak blooming stage. Of these peptides, 384 (84.4 %) were found to be secreted proteins and 320 (70.3 %) had special molecular functions. Based on Gene Ontology (GO) analysis, 348 peptides were annotated in terms of molecular function, biological process, and cellular localization, with 46.9 and 45.1 % being related to catalytic activity and binding activity, respectively. Many xylem sap-containing proteins were predicted to be involved in different phases of xylem differentiation including cell wall metabolism, secondary cell wall development and patterning, and programmed cell death. The identification of starch and sucrose hydrolyzing enzymes implicated the interaction between roots and aboveground parts on the aspect of carbohydrate metabolism. Many of the proteins identified in this study are involved in defense mechanisms including pathogen-related proteins, such as peroxidases, chitinases, and germin-like proteins, proteases involved in disease resistance, and phytoalexin phenylpropanoid synthesis-related proteins. The majority of identified signaling proteins were fasciclin-like arabinogalactan proteins and kinases. The results of this study provide useful insight into the communication mechanisms between cotton roots and the rest of the cotton plant.


Cotton Xylem sap Proteomics Defense Cell wall 



This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31271648) and the Science and Technology Innovation Talents Project of Henan Province of China (114100510008). This research was also supported by the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (Program 863) (2011AA10A102), the Industry Technology System of Cotton in Henan China (S2013-07) and the National Genetically Modified Organisms Breeding Technology Major Projects of China (2014ZX08005-002).

Supplementary material

10142_2014_395_MOESM1_ESM.doc (268 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 268 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhiyong Zhang
    • 1
  • Wanwan Xin
    • 1
  • Sufang Wang
    • 1
  • Xin Zhang
    • 1
  • Haifang Dai
    • 1
  • Runrun Sun
    • 1
    • 2
  • Taylor Frazier
    • 2
  • Baohong Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qinglian Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Life Science and TechnologyHenan Institute of Science and TechnologyXinxiangChina
  2. 2.Department of BiologyEast Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA

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