Metabolite profiling of the moss Physcomitrella patens reveals evolutionary conservation of osmoprotective substances
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The moss Physcomitrella patens is suitable for systems biology studies, as it can be grown axenically under standardised conditions in plain mineral medium and comprises only few cell types. We report on metabolite profiling of two major P. patens tissues, filamentous protonema and leafy gametophores, from different culture conditions. A total of 96 compounds were detected, 21 of them as yet unknown in public databases. Protonema and gametophores had distinct metabolic profiles, especially with regard to saccharides, sugar derivates, amino acids, lignin precursors and nitrogen-rich storage compounds. A hydroponic culture was established for P. patens, and was used to apply drought stress under physiological conditions. This treatment led to accumulation of osmoprotectants, such as altrose, maltitol, ascorbic acid and proline. Thus, these osmoprotectants are not unique to seed plants but have evolved at an early phase of the colonization of land by plants.
KeywordsBryophyte Drought stress Lignins Metabolomics Osmoprotectant Proline
Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry