2. Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research, India.
Picrorhiza (Picrorhiza kurrooa Royle ex Benth.) is an important medicinal herb of western Himalayan region and has been used to treat various diseases and disorders. Over-harvesting and lack of cultivation has led to its entry in Red Data Book as an endangered species. Its very restrictive and narrow habitat and the lesser biomass production are the main limitations for bringing it under commercial cultivation. Both these issues necessitate deeper insights into its growth and interaction with the environmental cues. Present study aimed at analysis of molecular response of Picrorhiza to drought stress. For the purpose comparative proteomics of Picrorhiza leaf and root under drought stress was performed. Denaturing two dimensional gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry techniques were used to detect and identify differentially expressed proteins, respectively. Thirteen proteins from leaf and 18 proteins from root showed differential expression levels under drought condition. Among the differentially expressed proteins, majority were those involved in metabolism, photosynthetic process, transcription and protein synthesis. Other differentially expressed proteins were those involved in stress and defense response, transport, signaling and cytoskeleton development indicating that many different processes work together to establish a new cellular homeostasis in response to drought stress. Proteins found to be differentially expressed under drought condition suggested a range of biochemical pathways and processes being associated with response of plant to drought condition. The identified proteins and the associated biological processes may be utilized for developing strategies for improving Picrorhiza for drought tolerance.
Keywords: Picrorhiza kurrooa, proteomics, drought stress, MALDI-ToF/ToF, mass spectrometry