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Proteomic changes induced by potassium deficiency and potassium substitution by sodium in sugar beet

Abstract

In this study, sugar beets (Beta vulgaris L.) were grown at different K+/Na+ concentrations: mmol/L, 3/0 (control); 0.03/2.97 (K–Na replacement group; Trep); 0.03/0 (K deficiency group; Tdef) in order to investigate the effects of K+ deficiency and replacement of K+ by Na+ on plant proteomics, and to explore the physiological processes influenced by Na+ to compensate for a lack of K+. After 22 days, fresh and dry weight as well as the Na+ and K+ concentration were measured and changes in proteomics were tested by 2D gel electrophoresis. Interestingly, Na+ showed stimulation in growth of seedlings and hindrance of K+ assimilation in Trep. Significant changes were also observed in 27 protein spots among the treatments. These are proteins involved in photosynthesis, cellular respiration, protein folding and degradation, stress and defense, other metabolisms, transcription related, and protein synthesis. A wide range of physiological processes, including light reaction, CO2 assimilation, glycolysis, and tricaboxylic acid cycle, was impaired owing to K+ starvation. Compensating for the effect of K+ starvation, an increase in photosynthesis was also observed in Trep. However, we also found a limitation of cellular respiration by Na+. Na+ is therefore in some ways able to recover damage due to K deficiency at protein level, but cannot functionally replace K as an essential nutrient.

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Acknowledgments

The authors thank Juan M. Gonzales (New College Florida) and Enrico Biancardi for critical reading of the manuscript and important comments. Mr. Ping Cui is thanked for providing sugar beet seedlings. This work was supported by the International Cooperation Project (project no. 2010DFAN31530: Drought resistance, salt tolerance breeding, and cultivation for energy beet) and a Project of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (project no. 31271779: Excavation of germplasm resources of higher salt tolerance and osmotic regulation mechanism in sugar beet).

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Correspondence to Gui Geng or Lihua Yu.

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Pi, Z., Stevanato, P., Sun, F. et al. Proteomic changes induced by potassium deficiency and potassium substitution by sodium in sugar beet. J Plant Res 129, 527–538 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10265-016-0800-9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10265-016-0800-9

Keywords

  • Two-dimensional electrophoresis
  • Sugar beet
  • K deficiency
  • K–Na replacement