|Protein expression plasticity contributes to heat and drought tolerance of date palm.|
Ghirardo A, Nosenko T, Kreuzwieser J, Winkler JB, Kruse J, Albert A, Merl-Pham J, Lux T, Ache P, Zimmer I, Alfarraj S, Mayer KFX, Hedrich R, Rennenberg H, Schnitzler JP.
Oecologia. 2021; ():
Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of warming and drought periods around the globe, currently representing a threat to many plant species. Understanding the resistance and resilience of plants to climate change is, therefore, urgently needed. As date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) evolved adaptation mechanisms to a xeric environment and can tolerate large diurnal and seasonal temperature fluctuations, we studied the protein expression changes in leaves, volatile organic compound emissions, and photosynthesis in response to variable growth temperatures and soil water deprivation. Plants were grown under controlled environmental conditions of simulated Saudi Arabian summer and winter climates challenged with drought stress. We show that date palm is able to counteract the harsh conditions of the Arabian Peninsula by adjusting the abundances of proteins related to the photosynthetic machinery, abiotic stress and secondary metabolism. Under summer climate and water deprivation, these adjustments included efficient protein expression response mediated by heat shock proteins and the antioxidant system to counteract reactive oxygen species formation. Proteins related to secondary metabolism were downregulated, except for the P. dactylifera isoprene synthase (PdIspS), which was strongly upregulated in response to summer climate and drought. This study reports, for the first time, the identification and functional characterization of the gene encoding for PdIspS, allowing future analysis of isoprene functions in date palm under extreme environments. Overall, the current study shows that reprogramming of the leaf protein profiles confers the date palm heat- and drought tolerance. We conclude that the protein plasticity of date palm is an important mechanism of molecular adaptation to environmental fluctuations.