Differential Physio-Biochemical and Metabolic Responses of Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) under Multiple Abiotic Stress Conditions

Jaykumar Patel, Deepesh Khandwal, Babita Choudhary, Dolly Ardeshana, Rajesh Kumar Jha, Bhakti Tanna, Sonam Yadav, Avinash Mishra, Rajeev K. Varshney, Kadambot H.M. Siddique

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28 Citations (Scopus)


The frequency and severity of extreme climatic conditions such as drought, salinity, cold, and heat are increasing due to climate change. Moreover, in the field, plants are affected by multiple abiotic stresses simultaneously or sequentially. Thus, it is imperative to compare the effects of stress combinations on crop plants relative to individual stresses. This study investigated the differential regulation of physio-biochemical and metabolomics parameters in peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) under individual (salt, drought, cold, and heat) and combined stress treatments using multivariate correlation analysis. The results showed that combined heat, salt, and drought stress compounds the stress effect of individual stresses. Combined stresses that included heat had the highest electrolyte leakage and lowest relative water content. Lipid peroxidation and chlorophyll contents did not significantly change under combined stresses. Biochemical parameters, such as free amino acids, polyphenol, starch, and sugars, significantly changed under combined stresses compared to individual stresses. Free amino acids increased under combined stresses that included heat; starch, sugars, and polyphenols increased under combined stresses that included drought; proline concentration increased under combined stresses that included salt. Metabolomics data that were obtained under different individual and combined stresses can be used to identify molecular phenotypes that are involved in the acclimation response of plants under changing abiotic stress conditions. Peanut metabolomics identified 160 metabolites, including amino acids, sugars, sugar alcohols, organic acids, fatty acids, sugar acids, and other organic compounds. Pathway enrichment analysis revealed that abiotic stresses significantly affected amino acid, amino sugar, and sugar metabolism. The stress treatments affected the metabolites that were associated with the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) and urea cycles and associated amino acid biosynthesis pathway intermediates. Principal component analysis (PCA), partial least squares-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA), and heatmap analysis identified potential marker metabolites (pinitol, malic acid, and xylopyranose) that were associated with abiotic stress combinations, which could be used in breeding efforts to develop peanut cultivars that are resilient to climate change. The study will also facilitate researchers to explore different stress indicators to identify resistant cultivars for future crop improvement programs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number660
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


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