Large-scale protein analysis of European beech trees following four vegetation periods of twice ambient ozone exposure

René Kerner, Edgar Delgado-Eckert, Dieter Ernst, Jean William Dupuy, Thorsten E.E. Grams, J. Barbro Winkler, Christian Lindermayr, Gerhard Müller-Starck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


In the present study, we performed a large-scale protein analysis based on 2-DE DIGE to examine the effects of ozone on the leaves of juvenile European beech (. Fagus sylvatica L.), one of the most important deciduous tree species in Central Europe. To this end, beech trees were grown under field conditions and subjected to ambient and twice ambient ozone concentrations during the vegetation periods of four consecutive years. The twice ambient ozone concentration altered the abundance of 237 protein spots, which showed relative ratios higher than 30% compared to the ambient control trees. A total of 74 protein spots were subjected to mass spectrometry identification (LC-MS/MS), followed by homology-driven searches. The differentially expressed proteins participate in key biological processes including the Calvin cycle and photosynthesis, carbon metabolism, defense- and stress-related responses, detoxification mechanisms, protein folding and degradation, and mechanisms involved in senescence. The ozone-induced responses provide evidence of a changing carbon metabolism and counteraction against increased levels of reactive oxygen species. Biological significance: This study provides useful information on how European beech, an economically and ecologically important tree species, reacts on the molecular level to increased ozone concentrations expected in the near future. The main emphasis in the present study was placed on identifying differentially abundant proteins after long-term ozone exposure under climatically realistic settings, rather than short-term responses or reactions under laboratory conditions. Additionally, using nursery-grown beech trees, we took into account the natural genotypic variation of this species. As such, the results presented here provide information on molecular responses to ozone in an experimental plant system at very close to natural conditions. Furthermore, this proteomic approach was supported by previous studies on the present experiment. Ultimately, the combination of this proteomic approach with several approaches including transcriptomics, analysis of non-structural carbohydrates, and morphological effects contributes to a more global picture of how beech trees react under increased ozone concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-435
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Proteomics
StatePublished - 3 Sep 2014


  • 2-DE DIGE
  • Cby
  • Proteomics
  • Systems biology
  • Tropospheric ozone (O)


Dive into the research topics of 'Large-scale protein analysis of European beech trees following four vegetation periods of twice ambient ozone exposure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this