Acta Physiologiae Plantarum

, 33:2437 | Cite as

Differential expression of proteins in maize roots in response to abscisic acid and drought

  • Xiuli HuEmail author
  • Minghui Lu
  • Chaohao Li
  • Tianxue Liu
  • Wei Wang
  • Jianyu Wu
  • Fuju Tai
  • Xiao Li
  • Jie Zhang
Original Paper


Roots are highly sensitive organ in plant response to drought, which commonly inhibits root growth. However, less is known about the effect of ABA on root protein expression induced by drought. To help clarify the role of ABA in protein expression of root response to drought, root protein patterns were monitored using a proteomic approach in maize ABA-deficient mutant vp5 and its wild-type Vp5 exposed to drought. Two-dimensional electrophoresis was used to identify drought-responsive protein spots in maize roots. After coomassie brilliant blue staining, approximately 450 protein spots were reproducibly detected on each gel, wherein 22 protein spots related to ABA or drought were identified using MALDI-TOF MS. Results showed that the 22 proteins are involved in such several cellular processes as energy and metabolism, redox homeostasis and regulatory. An anionic peroxidase and two putative uncharacterized proteins were up-regulated by drought in ABA-dependent way; A glycine-rich RNA binding protein 2, pathogenesis-related protein 10, an enolase, a serine/threonine-protein kinase receptor and a cytosolic ascorbate peroxidase were up-regulated by drought in both ABA-dependent and ABA-independent way; a nuclear transport factor 2, a nucleoside diphosphate kinase, a putative uncharacterized protein and a peroxiredoxin-5 were up-regulated by drought in ABA-independent way; a superoxide dismutase 4A, a VAP27-2, a transcription factor BTF3, a glutathione S-transferase GSTF2 and a putative uncharacterized protein were up-regulated by drought in ABA-dependent way, but not exogenous ABA treatment in the absence of drought; a O-methyltransferase and a putative uncharacterized proteins were down-regulated by ABA and drought. The identification of some novel proteins in the drought response provides new insights that can lead to a better understanding of the molecular basis of root drought tolerance.


ABA Drought stress Roots Zea mays L. Proteomics 



Abscisic acid


Ascorbate peroxidase


Anionic peroxidase


Coomassie brilliant blue


Two-dimensional electrophoresis




Glycine-rich RNA binding protein 2


Glutathione S-transferase


Isoelectric focusing




Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight


Mass spectrometry


Nuclear transport factor 2


Nucleoside diphosphate kinases


Phenylmethanesulfonyl fluoride






Isoelectric point


Sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis


Trichloroacetic acid








Reactive oxygen species


Salicylic acid


Superoxide dismutase


Maize pathogenesis-related protein 10



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 30800667 to XL Hu), the Fok Ying-Tong Education Foundation, China (Grant No. 122032), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Grant no. 20080440824 and No. 200902357 to XL Hu), the Foundation for University Key Teacher by the Ministry of Education (grant No.2009GGJS-028 to XL Hu) and the Foundation of Henan Major Public Projects (Grant No.091100910100).


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Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiuli Hu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Minghui Lu
    • 1
  • Chaohao Li
    • 3
    • 4
  • Tianxue Liu
    • 1
  • Wei Wang
    • 1
  • Jianyu Wu
    • 1
  • Fuju Tai
    • 1
  • Xiao Li
    • 1
  • Jie Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Life ScienceHenan Agricultural UniversityZhengzhouChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Physiological Ecology and Genetic Improvement of Food Crops in Henan ProvinceZhengzhouChina
  3. 3.College of AgronomyHenan Agricultural UniversityZhengzhouChina
  4. 4.Huanghuaihai Regional Innovation Center for Maize Technology, Ministry of AgricultureZhengzhouChina

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