Changes of secondary metabolites in Pinus sylvestris L. needles under increasing soil water deficit
A multiphasic response to water deficit was found in Scots pine primary and secondary metabolism. First, an increase of terpenoids coincided with the stomatal closure. Second, an accumulation of proline, ABA, and shikimic acid was detected when photosynthesis was negligible.
Drought-induced mortality is characterized by a major needle yellowing followed by severe defoliation and whole branch death. Before these external visual symptoms of drought stress take place, different alterations occur in plant metabolism.
This study aims to detect changes in primary and secondary metabolism of Pinus sylvestris L. in response to a decrease in soil water availability.
We analyzed needle water potential, photosynthetic characteristics, and concentrations of proline, terpenoids, shikimic acid, total polyphenols, and abscisic acid (ABA) in P. sylvestris through a 55-day soil water deficit period.
Concentrations of most metabolites varied with the decrease in soil water availability, but changes in different compounds were triggered at different times, highlighting a multiphasic response. Increases in monoterpene and sesquiterpenoid content at moderate water deficit coincided with stomatal closure which preceded the accumulation of proline, ABA, and shikimic acid under severe water deficit when net photosynthesis was negligible.
This work confirms that most of the secondary metabolites under investigation in Pinus sylvestris did not increase until a moderate to severe water deficit was experienced, when photosynthesis was limited by stomatal closure.
KeywordsAbscisic acid Gas exchange Shikimic acid Water deficit Proline Terpenoids Water potential
- Adams RP (2009) Identification of essentials oil components by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, 4th edn. Alluredbooks, Carol Stream, IL, p 5Google Scholar
- Becerra-Moreno A, Redondo-Gil M, Benavides J, Nair V, Cisneros-Zevallos L, Jacobo-Velázquez DA (2015) Combined effect of water loss and wounding stress on gene activation of metabolic pathways associated with phenolic biosynthesis in carrot. Front Plant Sci 6:837CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Constable JVH, Litvak ME, Greenberg JP, Monson RK (1999) Monoterpene emission from coniferous trees in response to elevated CO2 concentration and climate warming. Glob Chang Biol 5:255–267Google Scholar
- Hodges JD, Lorio PL (1975) Moisture stress and composition of xylem oleoresin in loblolly pine. For Sci 21:283–290Google Scholar
- Lluisà J, Peñuelas J (1998) Changes in terpene content and emission in potted Mediterranean woody plants under severe drought. Can J Bot 76:1366–1373Google Scholar
- Monties B, Fukushima K (2001) Occurrence, function and biosynthesis of lignin. In: Hofrichter M, Steinbuchel A (eds) Biopolymers, volumen 1: lignin humic substances and coal. Wiley, Weinheim, pp 1–64Google Scholar
- Munné-Bosch S, Falara V, Pateraki I, López-Carbonell M, Cela J, Kanellis AK (2009) Physiological and molecular responses of the isoprenoid biosynthetic pathway in a drought-resistant Mediterranean shrub, Cistus creticus exposed to water deficit. J Plant Physiol 166:136–145CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Schabenberger O, Pierce FJ (2002) Contemporary statistical models for the plant and soil sciences. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 252–259Google Scholar
- Vilagrosa A, Morales F, Abadía A, Bellot J, Cochard H, Gil-Pelegrín E (2010) Are symplast tolerance to intense drought conditions and xylem vulnerability to cavitation coordinated? An integrated analysis of photosynthetic, hydraulic and leaf level processes in two Mediterranean drought-resistant species. Environ Exp Bot 69:233–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar