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Changes in the fine root proteome of Fagus sylvatica L. trees associated with P-deficiency and amelioration of P-deficiency

Geilfus, Christoph-Martin, Carpentier, Sebastien Christian, Zavišić, Aljoša, Polle, Andrea
Journal of proteomics 2017 v.169 pp. 33-40
Fagus sylvatica, amino acid metabolism, biogenesis, economic valuation, fertilizer application, fine roots, leaves, phosphorus, phosphorus fertilizers, proteins, proteome, proteomics, root systems, soil, temperate forests, tissues, trees, triple superphosphate, Europe
Phosphorus is often the least available macronutrient in soil. Lack in phosphorus has detrimental effect on growth and biomass production of European Fagus sylvatica L., a major trees species in temperate forests. In contrast to leaf tissues, few studies have examined changes in the root system and no study has ever investigated the proteomic changes affected in beech roots by a lack in available phosphate (P). Here, we studied roots of young Fagus sylvatica L. trees in their native soils from two forests sites with contrasting availability of P: one P rich and P poor soil. To understand also the response to P fertilization, the trees were fertilized with triple superphosphate and the proteome of fine roots of all conditions was compared. Gel-free mass-spectrometry-based shotgun proteomics revealed that the proteome was differentially affected by diverging P availabilities. The proteomic changes that took place as the result of P fertilization were dependent on the supply level of P before the fertilization. When P was supplied to the P-rich soil proteins related to cell biogenesis exhibited increased abundances. Addition of P to soil that was strongly limited in P resulted in increased abundance of proteins associated with amino acid metabolism and transport.Beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) forests have a huge ecological and economic value across Europe. In recent years, however, these forest sites increasingly suffer under phosphorus (P) deficiency. As the consequence, growth and vitality of beech forests is impaired. For this reason, this study was conducted with the aim to identify and understand proteomic impairments and adjustments that evolve in the fine roots under both, a P deficiency and an amelioration thereof. For this, we analyzed (1) the fine root proteome of young beech trees grown (2) at two soil sites that contrast in their degree of availability P (low vs. high) in dependency (3) to a fertilization with P. This experiment revealed fundamental differences with respect to proteomic changes in dependency on the severity of P limitation and helped to identify processes that take place after amelioration of the deficiency. This information is useful to understand which physiological processes are impaired under P deficiency and, thus, impair growth. The fertilization experiment enabled to identify developmental processes that take place in fine roots when concentration of available P was increased. They are “cellular component organization and biogenesis” in the P rich soil and “synthesis of organonitrogen-containing compounds” in the P poor soil.