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Abstract

SDS-PAGE electrophoresis was used to study the effect of NaCl on protein expression in two cultivars of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.): Edkawi (salt-tolerant) and Castle rock (salt-sensitive). Five-day-old seedlings were grown on MS agar media supplemented with 0, 50, 100, 150, 200 and 300 mM NaCl. Two days after treatment the seedlings were examined to determine the effect of salt on their growth and to relate that to protein banding variations. Gel analysis showed differences in at least 4 protein bands with molecular weights at 20, 25, 45 and 65 kDa. These proteins were induced in the 50 mM NaCl treatment in the salt-sensitive cultivar, then decreasing to undetectability at higher concentrations. In the salt-tolerant cultivar, most of the proteins exhibited a more or less steady expression pattern and maintained expression through the 200 mM NaCl treatment. All proteins gave weak or no expression signals at 300 mM NaCl, the treatment that proved lethal. Differentially expressed bands were identified using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The putative function of each identified protein in relation to salt stress is discussed.
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