Phloem exudate protein profiles during drought and recovery reveal abiotic stress responses in tomato vasculature

Aaron J. Ogden, Jishnu J. Bhatt, Heather M. Brewer, Jack Kintigh, Samwel M. Kariuki, Sairam Rudrabhatla, Joshua N. Adkins, Wayne R. Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Drought is the leading cause of agricultural yield loss among all abiotic stresses, and the link between water deficit and phloem protein contents is relatively unexplored. Here we collected phloem exudates from Solanum lycopersicum leaves during periods of drought stress and recovery. Our analysis identified 2558 proteins, the most abundant of which were previously localized to the phloem. Independent of drought, enrichment analysis of the total phloem exudate protein profiles from all samples suggests that the protein content of phloem sap is complex, and includes proteins that function in chaperone systems, branched-chain amino acid synthesis, trehalose metabolism, and RNA silencing. We observed 169 proteins whose abundance changed significantly within the phloem sap, either during drought or recovery. Proteins that became significantly more abundant during drought include members of lipid metabolism, chaperone-mediated protein folding, carboxylic acid metabolism, abscisic acid signaling, cytokinin biosynthesis, and amino acid metabolism. Conversely, proteins involved in lipid signaling, sphingolipid metabolism, cell wall organization, carbohydrate metabolism, and a mitogen-activated protein kinase are decreased during drought. Our experiment has achieved an in-depth profiling of phloem sap protein contents during drought stress and recovery that supports previous findings and provides new evidence that multiple biological processes are involved in drought adaptation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4461
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 23 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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