Effects of drought stress on seed sink strength and leaf protein patterns of common bean genotypes

  • S Gebeyehu
  • H Wiese
  • S Schubert
Keywords: Assimilate, drought resistance, Phaseolus vulgaris


Assimilate availability and the capacity to utilise them in the reproductive structures to a large extent determine reproductive sink establishment and yield of crops under drought stress. This study was carried out to investigate the effect of drought stress imposed at early pod-fill stage on seed sink strength of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) genotypes differing in drought resistance. Quantitative and qualitative changes in leaf protein patterns was assessed using 2D-gel electrophoresis. A drought-resistant inbred line (SEA 15) and a droughtsusceptible cultivar (BrSp) were grown under non-stress and drought stress conditions in a vegetation hall during the summer of 2004. Drought stress commenced at early pod-filling stage caused 53 and 30% seed yield reductions in BrSp and SEA 15, respectively. The effect of drought on seed yield was primarily due to the significant reduction in number of seeds per plant (48% for BrSp vs. 35% for SEA 15). Whereas seed sucrose concentrations of BrSp decreased by 29 to 47% under drought conditions, the stress resulted in an increase (up to 43%) in concentration of the carbohydrate in SEA 15 seeds. Despite the genotypic difference found for seed sucrose import, seed starch accumulations of the two genotypes decreased under drought stress. For both genotypes, none of the seed sink capacity parameters (numbers and volumes of cotyledonary cells and starch granules per seed) were significantly affected by the stress imposed implying that the drought-induced decrease in seed starch accumulation could be due to limitations in assimilate availability and/or other sink activity factors within the
seed. A total of 230 leaf proteins were differentially expressed due to drought out of which 23.5, 15.1, 4.3 and 3.5% were down-regulated, up-regulated, newly appeared and disappeared, respectively. Identification and assigning possible functions in the crop’s response to drought of the stress-induced proteins warrant further study

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2072-6589
print ISSN: 1021-9730