Differential Impact of Environmental Stresses on the Pea Mitochondrial Proteome

Nicolas Taylor, J.L. Heazlewood, D.A. Day, Harvey Millar

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229 Citations (Scopus)


Exposure to adverse environmental conditions causes oxidative stress in many organisms, leading either to disease and debilitation or to response and tolerance. Mitochondria are a key site of oxidative stress and of cellular response and play important roles in cell survival. We analyzed the response of mitochondria in pea ( Pisum sativum) plants to the common stresses associated with drought, cold, and herbicides. These treatments all altered photosynthetic and respiratory rates of pea leaves to various extents, but only herbicides significantly increased lipid peroxidation product accumulation. Mitochondria isolated from the stressed pea plants maintained their electron transport chain activity, but changes were evident in the abundance of uncoupling proteins, non-phosphorylating respiratory pathways, and oxidative modification of lipoic acid moieties on mitochondrial proteins. These data suggest that herbicide treatment placed a severe oxidative stress on mitochondria, whereas chilling and particularly drought were milder stresses. Detailed analysis of the soluble proteome of mitochondria by gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry revealed differential degradation of key matrix enzymes during treatments with chilling being significantly more damaging than drought. Differential induction of heat shock proteins and specific losses of other proteins illustrated the diversity of response to these stresses at the protein level. Cross-species matching was required for mass spectrometry identification of nine proteins because only a limited number of pea cDNAs have been sequenced, and the full pea genome is not available. Blue-native separation of intact respiratory chain complexes revealed little if any change in response to environmental stresses. Together these data suggest that although many of the molecular events identified by chemical stresses of mitochondria from a range of model eukaryotes are also apparent during environmental stress of plants, their extent and significance can vary substantially.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1122-1133
JournalMolecular & Cellular Proteomics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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