DEHYDRIN PROFILES OF SOME IRANIAN MELON VARIETIES (Cucumis melo L. Merr) UNDER DROUGHT STRE SS CONDITIONS
Dehydrins are proteins that play a role in the mechanism of drought tolerance. This study aimed at establishing dehydrin profile and accumulation in four local melon varieties of Iran: Mino, Dargazi, Saveii, and Semsori, as well as in a commercial variety Honeydew. Plants were treated with drought stress by adjusting the soil water content to 75, 50, 40, 30 and 20% of field capacity (FC) by withholding water. Water status of plants was monitored based on the seedling fresh weight (FW) and relative water content of leaves (RWC). Total protein content was extracted, then heat-stable protein (HSP) fraction was isolated for each variety and water stress treatment. After SDS-PAGE of HSP, Western blotting analysis was carried out with Anti-dehydrin rabbit (primary) and Goat anti rabbit (secondary) antibodies. ANOVA results showed that with decreasing FC below 75%, FW and RWC decreased, but these changes significantly varied among genotypes. On the basis of FW and RWC data under different drought stress treatments, the following drought-tolerant ranking was established: Mino > Dargazi > Saveii and Honeydew > Semsori, from tolerant to sensitive order. Results of Western blot analysis showed that expression of some proteins with molecular weights of 19–52 kDa was induced in the studied varieties under drought stress (% FC). Expression level of the dehydrin proteins in different varieties was variable and also depending on the drought stress level applied. However, dehydrin proteins (45 and 50 kDa) showed strong expression levels in all varieties under severe drought stress (20% FC). The abundance of dehydrin proteins was higher in tolerant varieties (Mino and Dargazi) than in moderate and drought sensitive genotypes. Consequently, dehydrins represent a potential marker for selection of genotypes with enhanced drought tolerance.
melon; drought stress; dehydrin; western blotting
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