Comparative analysis of proteomic changes in contrasting flax cultivars upon cadmium exposure
Cadmium (Cd) is classified as a serious pollutant due to its high toxicity, high carcinogenicity, and widespread presence in the environment. Phytoremediation represents an effective low-cost approach for removing pollutants from contaminated soils, and a crop with significant phytoremediation potential is flax. However, significant differences in Cd accumulation and tolerance were previously found among commercial flax cultivars. Notably, cv. Jitka showed substantially higher tolerance to elevated Cd levels in soil and plant tissues than cv. Tabor. Here, significant changes in the expression of 14 proteins (related to disease/defense, metabolism, protein destination and storage, signal transduction, energy and cell structure) were detected by image and mass spectrometric analysis of two-dimensionally separated proteins extracted from Cd-treated cell suspension cultures derived from these contrasting cultivars. Further, two proteins, ferritin and glutamine synthetase (a key enzyme in glutathione biosynthesis), were only up-regulated by Cd in cv. Jitka, indicating that Cd tolerance mechanisms in this cultivar may include maintenance of low Cd levels at sensitive sites by ferritin and low-molecular eight thiol peptides binding Cd. The identified changes could facilitate marker assisted breeding for Cd tolerance and the development of transgenic flax lines with enhanced Cd tolerance and accumulation capacities for phytoremediating Cd-contaminated soils.