Differences in fennel seed responses to drought stress at the seed formation stage in sensitive and tolerant genotypes

  • Ehsaneh Khodadadi
  • Akiko Hashiguchi
  • Barat Ali Fakheri
  • Saeed Aharizad
  • Abbasali Emamjomeh
  • Majid Norouzi
  • Setsuko Komatsu
Original Article


To understand the effects of drought on fennel seed production and determine the underlying molecular processes, various fennel genotypes were exposed to drought stress. The yield and quality, including aromatic oil content, of fennel seeds were reduced by drought during seed development. To explore drought-induced biological processes in fennel, a label-free/gel-free proteomic analysis was performed. In Gaziantep and Tatmaj cultivars, which are sensitive and tolerant fennel genotypes, respectively, 106 and 92 drought-responsive proteins were identified. Comparison of protein-functional profiles indicated that proteins classified in stress, cell, and protein synthesis/degradation categories consisted important responsive mechanisms against drought stress. Pathway analysis visualized that the tricarboxylic acid cycle is important for both cultivars. In Tatmaj, moderate activation of proteins related to oxidative pentose phosphate pathway was detected along with an increase in photosynthesis-related proteins. Furthermore, cluster analysis of drought-responsive proteins using protein abundance at milky, dough, and mature stages identified protein homeostasis as a mechanism of drought tolerance in fennel. These results suggest that coordinated energy consumption and supply might be a drought-tolerance mechanism in fennel plants.


Fennel Seed Drought Drought-sensitive genotypes Drought-tolerant genotypes Proteomics 



Tricarboxylic acid


Oxidative pentose phosphate


Reactive oxygen species


Mass spectrometry


Liquid chromatography



The authors thank Dr. X. Wang at the University of Tsukuba for experimental support and data analyses.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 58 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 61 kb)
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Supplementary material 4 (DOCX 46 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society for Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ehsaneh Khodadadi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Akiko Hashiguchi
    • 3
  • Barat Ali Fakheri
    • 2
  • Saeed Aharizad
    • 4
  • Abbasali Emamjomeh
    • 2
  • Majid Norouzi
    • 4
  • Setsuko Komatsu
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Environmental and Information SciencesFukui University of TechnologyFukuiJapan
  2. 2.Department of Plant Breeding and BiotechnologyUniversity of ZabolZabolIran
  3. 3.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan
  4. 4.Department of Plant Breeding and BiotechnologyUniversity of TabrizTabrizIran

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