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Front Plant Sci. 2013 Feb 13;4:20. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2013.00020. eCollection 2013.

Application of selected reaction monitoring mass spectrometry to field-grown crop plants to allow dissection of the molecular mechanisms of abiotic stress tolerance.

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Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology and Centre for Comparative Analysis of Biomolecular Networks, The University of Western Australia Crawley, WA, Australia.


One major constraint upon the application of molecular crop breeding approaches is the small number of genes linked to agronomically desirable traits through defined biochemical mechanisms. Proteomic investigations of crop plants under abiotic stress treatments have identified many proteins that differ in control versus stress comparisons, however, this broad profiling of cell physiology is poorly suited to ranking the effects and identifying the specific proteins that are causative in agronomically relevant traits. Here we will reason that insights into a protein's function, its biochemical process and links to stress tolerance are more likely to arise through approaches that evaluate these differential abundances of proteins and include varietal comparisons, precise discrimination of protein isoforms, enrichment of functionally related proteins, and integration of proteomic datasets with physiological measurements of both lab and field-grown plants. We will briefly explain how applying the emerging proteomic technology of multiplexed selective reaction monitoring mass spectrometry with its accuracy and throughput can facilitate and enhance these approaches and provide a clear means to rank the growing cohort of stress responsive proteins. We will also highlight the benefit of integrating proteomic analyses with cultivar-specific genetic databases and physiological assessments of cultivar performance in relevant field environments for revealing deeper insights into molecular crop improvement.


abiotic stress; barley; molecular breeding; proteomics; rice; selected reaction monitoring; wheat

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