Cytochrome respiration pathway and sulphur metabolism sustain stress tolerance to low temperature in the Antarctic species Colobanthus quitensis

María José Clemente-Moreno, Nooshin Omranian, Patricia Sáez, Carlos María Figueroa, Néstor Del-Saz, Mhartyn Elso, Leticia Poblete, Isabel Orf, Alvaro Cuadros-Inostroza, Lohengrin Cavieres, León Bravo, Alisdair Fernie, Miquel Ribas-Carbó, Jaume Flexas, Zoran Nikoloski, Yariv Brotman, Jorge Gago

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Understanding the strategies employed by plant species that live in extreme environments offers the possibility to discover stress tolerance mechanisms. We studied the physiological, antioxidant and metabolic responses to three temperature conditions (4, 15, and 23°C) of Colobanthus quitensis (CQ), one of the only two native vascular species in Antarctica. We also employed Dianthus chinensis (DC), to assess the effects of the treatments in a non-Antarctic species from the same family. Using fused LASSO modelling, we associated physiological and biochemical antioxidant responses with primary metabolism. This approach allowed us to highlight the metabolic pathways driving the response specific to CQ. Low temperature imposed dramatic reductions in photosynthesis (up to 88%) but not in respiration (sustaining rates of 3.0–4.2 μmol CO2 m−2 s−1) in CQ, and no change in the physiological stress parameters was found. Its notable antioxidant capacity and mitochondrial cytochrome respiratory activity (20 and two times higher than DC, respectively), which ensure ATP production even at low temperature, was significantly associated with sulphur-containing metabolites and polyamines. Our findings potentially open new biotechnological opportunities regarding the role of antioxidant compounds and respiratory mechanisms associated with sulphur metabolism in stress tolerance strategies to low temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)754-768
Number of pages15
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume225
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Antarctica
  • antioxidant capacity
  • low temperature
  • photosynthesis
  • respiration
  • stress tolerance
  • sulphur metabolism

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