Plant and Soil

, Volume 437, Issue 1–2, pp 137–158 | Cite as

Physiological and comparative proteomic analyses of saline-alkali NaHCO3-responses in leaves of halophyte Puccinellia tenuiflora

  • Zepeng Yin
  • Heng Zhang
  • Qi Zhao
  • Mi-Jeong Yoo
  • Ning Zhu
  • Jianlan Yu
  • Juanjuan Yu
  • Siyi Guo
  • Yuchen Miao
  • Sixue Chen
  • Zhi QinEmail author
  • Shaojun DaiEmail author
Regular Article



Soil alkalization imposes severe ion toxicity, osmotic stress, and high pH stress to plants, inhibiting their growth and productivity. NaHCO3 is a main component of alkaline soil. However, knowledge of the NaHCO3-responsive proteomic pattern of alkaligrass is still lacking. Alkaligrass (Puccinellia tenuiflora) is a monocotyledonous halophyte pasture widely distributed in the Songnen Plain in Northeastern China. This study aims to investigate the NaHCO3-responsive molecular mechanisms in the alkaligrass plants.


An integrative approach including photosynthetic and redox physiology, and comparative proteomics was used.


NaHCO3 decreased photosynthesis, but increased nonphotochemical quenching, increased membrane electrolyte leakage of alkaligrass, and increased proline and glycine betaine concentrations in leaves. In addition, the NaHCO3 stress increased Na+ concentration and decreased K+/Na+ ratio in leaves, while Ca2+ and Mg2+ concentrations were maintained, contributing to signaling and homeostasis of ion and enzyme activity. Furthermore, O2 generation rate and H2O2 concentration were increased, and the activities of ten antioxidant enzymes and antioxidant concentrations were changed in response to the NaHCO3 stress. Proteomics revealed 90 NaHCO3-responsive proteins, 54% of which were localized in chloroplasts. They were mainly involved in signaling, photosynthesis, stress and defense, carbohydrate and energy metabolism, as well as protein synthesis, processing and turnover. Some protein abundances did not correlate well with their activities, implying that the enzyme activities were affected by NaHCO3-induced post-translational modifications.


To cope with the NaHCO3 stress, alkaligrass deployed multiple strategies, including triggering phospholipase D (PLD)-mediated Ca2+ signaling pathways, enhancing diverse reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging pathways, and regulating chloroplast protein synthesis and processing.


Soil alkalization Halophyte Puccinellia tenuiflora NaHCO3-responsive mechanisms Proteomics 



The project was supported by grants from the Foundation of Shanghai Science and Technology Committee, China (No. 17391900600), Capacity Construction Project of Local Universities, Shanghai, China (No. 14390502700) to Shaojun Dai, the Found of Shanghai Engineering Research Center of Plant Germplasm Resources (No.17DZ2252700), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31801848) to Zepeng Yin.

Author’s contribution

Shaojun Dai and Zhi Qin conceived and designed the experiments; Zepeng Yin, Heng Zhang, Qi Zhao, Ning Zhu, Siyi Guo, Yuchen Miao, Tai Wang, and Jianlan Yu participated in experiments and data analyses; Zepeng Yin wrote the manuscript with inputs and guidance from Shaojun Dai, Sixue Chen, Mi-Jeong Yoo and Zhi Qin. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Development Centre of Plant Germplasm Resources, College of Life SciencesShanghai Normal UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Alkali Soil Natural Environmental Science Center, Key Laboratory of Saline-alkali Vegetation Ecology Restoration, Ministry of EducationNortheast Forestry UniversityHarbinChina
  3. 3.Horticulture Department, College of HorticultureShenyang Agricultural UniversityShenyangChina
  4. 4.Department of Biology, Genetics Institute, Plant Molecular and Cellular Program, Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology ResearchUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  5. 5.AB Sciex Asia Pacific Application Support CenterShanghaiChina
  6. 6.Institute of Plant Stress Biology, State Key Laboratory of Cotton Biology, Department of BiologyHenan UniversityKaifengChina

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