The disadvantages of being a hybrid during drought: A combined analysis of plant morphology, physiology and leaf proteome in maize

Holá D., Benešová M., Fischer L., Haisel D., Hnilička F., Hniličková H., Jedelský P.L., Kočová M., Procházková D., Rothová O., Tůmová L., Wilhelmová N.
PLoS ONE 12(4): e0176121, 2017

Klíčová slova:
Abstrakt: A comparative analysis of various parameters that characterize plant morphology, growth, water status, photosynthesis, cell damage, and antioxidative and osmoprotective systems together with an iTRAQ analysis of the leaf proteome was performed in two inbred lines of maize (Zea mays L.) differing in drought susceptibility and their reciprocal F1 hybrids. The aim of this study was to dissect the parent-hybrid relationships to better understand the mechanisms of the heterotic effect and its potential association with the stress response. The results clearly showed that the four examined genotypes have completely different strategies for coping with limited water availability and that the inherent properties of the F1 hybrids, i.e. positive heterosis in morphological parameters (or, more generally, a larger plant body) becomes a distinct disadvantage when the water supply is limited. However, although a greater loss of photosynthetic efficiency was an inherent disadvantage, the precise causes and consequences of the original predisposition towards faster growth and biomass accumulation differed even between reciprocal hybrids. Both maternal and paternal parents could be imitated by their progeny in some aspects of the drought response (e.g., the absence of general protein down-regulation, changes in the levels of some carbon fixation or other photosynthetic proteins). Nevertheless, other features (e.g., dehydrin or light-harvesting protein contents, reduced chloroplast proteosynthesis) were quite unique to a particular hybrid. Our study also confirmed that the strategy for leaving stomata open even when the water supply is limited (coupled to a smaller body size and some other physiological properties), observed in one of our inbred lines, is associated with drought-resistance not only during mild drought (as we showed previously) but also during more severe drought conditions.
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