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Article|01 Oct 2018|OPEN
Proteomic analysis of heat stress resistance of cucumber leaves when grafted onto Momordica rootstock
Ye Xu1, Yinghui Yuan1, Nanshan Du2, Yu Wang1, Sheng Shu1,3, Jin Sun1,3 & Shirong Guo1,3,
1Key Laboratory of Southern Vegetable Crop Genetic Improvement in Ministry of Agriculture, College of Horticulture, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China
2Department of Horticulture, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou, China
3Suqian Academy of Protected Horticulture, Nanjing Agricultural University, Suqian, China

Horticulture Research 5,
Article number: 53 (2018)
doi: 10.1038/hortres.2018.53
Views: 577

Received: 14 Jan 2018
Revised: 09 May 2018
Accepted: 21 May 2018
Published online: 01 Oct 2018


Various biotic and abiotic stresses threaten the cultivation of future agricultural crops. Among these stresses, heat stress is a major abiotic stress that substantially reduces agricultural productivity. Many strategies to enhance heat stress tolerance of crops have been developed, among which is grafting. Here, we show that Momordica-grafted cucumber scions have intrinsically enhanced chlorophyll content, leaf area, and net photosynthetic rate under heat stress compared to plants grafted onto cucumber rootstock. To investigate the mechanisms by which Momordica rootstock enhanced cucumber scions heat stress tolerance, comparative proteomic analysis of cucumber leaves in response to rootstock-grafting and/or heat stress was conducted. Seventy-seven differentially accumulated proteins involved in diverse biological processes were identified by two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) in conjunction with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF/TOF MS). The following four main categories of proteins were involved: photosynthesis (42.8%), energy and metabolism (18.2%), defense response (14.3%), and protein and nucleic acid biosynthesis (11.7%). Proteomic analysis revealed that scions grafted onto Momordica rootstocks upregulated more proteins involved in photosynthesis compared to scions grafted onto cucumber rootstocks under heat stress and indicated enhanced photosynthetic capacity when seedlings were exposed to heat stress. Furthermore, the expression of photosynthesis-related genes in plants grafted onto Momordica rootstocks significantly increased in response to heat stress. In addition, increased high-temperature tolerance of plants grafted onto Momordica rootstock was associated with the accumulation of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) and oxygen-evolving enhancer protein 1 (OEE1). Taken together, the data indicated that Momordica rootstock might alleviate growth inhibition caused by heat stress by improving photosynthesis, providing valuable insight into enhancing heat stress tolerance in the global warming epoch.