Acta Physiologiae Plantarum

, 41:161 | Cite as

Metabolomics reveals the drought-tolerance mechanism in wild soybean (Glycine soja)

  • Xiaoxia Wang
  • Rui GuoEmail author
  • Mingxia Li
  • Yuan Liu
  • Mingli Zhao
  • Hui Fu
  • Xueying Liu
  • Shiyao Wang
  • Lianxuan ShiEmail author
Original Article


Drought stress is the main limiting factor of crop productivity. Wild soybean (Glycine soja) is a fine germplasm resource, which has a high tolerance to adverse environmental conditions. This study aimed to reveal the mechanism responsible for drought tolerance in drought-tolerant wild soybean. Here, the growth parameters and metabolomics of the two wild soybean varieties’ seedlings were analyzed under polyethylene glycol-simulated drought stress using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. In total, 61 differentially accumulated metabolites were identified in leaves under polyethylene glycol-6000-simulated drought conditions. Compared with common wild soybean, the drought-tolerant wild soybean grew better. A metabolite profiling analysis suggested that the tricarboxylic acid cycle was enhanced in drought-tolerant wild soybean but inhibited in common wild soybean compared with the control group under simulated drought stress. Thus, the accumulation of osmotic compounds and the enhancement of energy and secondary antioxidant metabolism under drought-stress conditions are the mechanisms responsible for drought tolerance in drought-tolerant wild soybean. The results provide an important theoretical basis for utilizing wild soybean resources.


Drought stress Metabolomics Osmotic adjustment Plant growth Soybean 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 31870278) and the Collaborative Innovation of Scientific and Technological of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. We thank Jilin Academy of Agriculture Science for helping. We thank International Science Editing ( for editing this manuscript.

Supplementary material

11738_2019_2939_MOESM1_ESM.docx (621 kb)
The following additional information is available in the online version of this article—Online Resource 1 Total ion current gas chromatography–mass spectrometry chromatograms of leaf extracts from two wild soybean varieties (DOCX 621 kb)
11738_2019_2939_MOESM2_ESM.docx (35 kb)
The following additional information is available in the online version of this article—Online Resource 2 The contributions of metabolites from two wild soybean varieties’ seedling leaves to the first principal component (PC1) and the second principal component (PC2) (DOCX 34 kb)


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Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Vegetation Ecology, Ministry of Education, Institute of Grassland ScienceNortheast Normal UniversityChangchunPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Dryland Agriculture, Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in AgricultureChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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