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Protein Expression Changes in Maize Roots in Response to Humic Substances

Carletti, Paolo, Masi, Antonio, Spolaore, Barbara, Polverino De Laureto, Patrizia, De Zorzi, Mariangela, Turetta, Loris, Ferretti, Massimo, Nardi, Serenella
Journal of chemical ecology 2008 v.34 no.6 pp. 804-818
Zea mays, corn, seedlings, roots, protein synthesis, gene expression regulation, humic substances, plant response, soil-plant interactions, proteomics
Humic substances are known to affect plant metabolism at different levels. We characterized humic substances extracted from earthworm feces by diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform (DRIFT) spectroscopy and used them to treat corn, Zea mays L., seedlings to investigate changes in patterns of root protein expression. After root plasma membrane extraction and purification, proteins were separated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, and differential spot intensities were evaluated by image analysis. Finally, 42 differentially expressed proteins were identified by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The majority of them were downregulated by the treatment with humic substances. The proteins identified included malate dehydrogenase, ATPases, cytoskeleton proteins, and different enzymes belonging to the glycolytic/gluconeogenic pathways and sucrose metabolism. The identification of factors involved in plant responses to humic substances may improve our understanding of plant-soil cross-talk, and enable a better management of soil resources.