Plant growth-promoting bacteria can alleviate the inhibitory effects of various heavy metals on plant growth, via decreasing levels of stress-induced ethylene. However, little has been done to detect any mechanisms specific for heavy metal resistance of this kind of bacteria. Here, we investigate the response of the wild-type plant growth-promoting bacterium
Pseudomonas putidaUW4 to nickel stress using proteomic approaches. The mutant strain P. putidaUW4/AcdS-, lacking a functional 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid deaminase gene, was also assessed for its response to nickel stress. Results
Two dimensional difference in-gel electrophoresis (DIGE) was used to detect significantly up- or down- regulated proteins (
p< 0.05, | ratio | > 1.5) in P. putidain response to the presence of 2 mM Ni. Out of a total number of 1,702 proteins detected on the analytical gels for P. putidaUW4, the expression levels of 82 (4.82%) proteins increased significantly while the expression of 81 (4.76%) proteins decreased significantly. Of 1,575 proteins detected on the analytical gels for P. putidaUW4/AcdS-, the expression levels of 74 (4.70%) proteins increased and 51 (3.24%) proteins decreased significantly. Thirty-five proteins whose expression was altered were successfully identified by mass spectrometry and sequence comparisons with related species. Nineteen of the identified proteins were detected as differentially expressed in both wild-type and mutant expression profiles. Conclusion
Functional assessment of proteins with significantly altered expression levels revealed several mechanisms thought to be involved in bacterial heavy metal detoxification, including general stress adaptation, anti-oxidative stress and heavy metal efflux proteins. This information may contribute to the development of plant growth-promoting bacteria mediated phytoremediation processes.