Phospholipid Signaling Responses in Salt-Stressed Rice Leaves

Essam Darwish, Christa Testerink, Mohamed Khalil, Osama El-Shihy, Teun Munnik*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)


Salinity is one of the major environmental factors limiting growth and productivity of rice plants. In this study, the effect of salt stress on phospholipid signaling responses in rice leaves was investigated. Leaf cuts were radiolabeled with 32P-orthophosphate and the lipids extracted and analyzed by thin-layer chromatography, autoradiography and phosphoimaging. Phospholipids were identified by co-migration of known standards. Results showed that 32Pi was rapidly incorporated into the minor lipids, phos-phatidylinositol bisphosphate (PIP2) and phosphatidic acid (PA) and, interestingly, also into the structural lipids phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and phosphatidylglycerol (PG), which normally label relatively slowly, like phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidylinositol (PI). Only very small amounts of PIP2 were found. However, in response to salt stress (NaCl), PIP2 levels rapidly (<30 min) increased up to 4-fold, in a time- and dose-dependent manner. PA and its phosphorylated product, diacylglyc-erolpyrophosphate (DGPP), also increased upon NaCl stress, while cardiolipin (CL) levels decreased. All other phospholipid levels remained unchanged. PA signaling can be generated via the combined action of phospholipase C (PLC) and diacylglycerol kinase (DGK) or directly via phospholipase D (PLD). The latter can be measured in vivo, using a transphosphatidylation assay. Interestingly, these measurements revealed that salt stress inhibited PLD activity, indicating that the salt stress-induced PA response was not due to PLD activity. Comparison of the 32P-lipid responses in salt-tolerant and salt-sensitive cultivars revealed no significant differences. Together these results show that salt stress rapidly activates several lipid responses in rice leaves but that these responses do not explain the difference in salt tolerance between sensitive and tolerant cultivars.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)986-997
Number of pages12
JournalPlant and Cell Physiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Lipid signaling
  • Phosphatidic acid
  • Phosphoinositides
  • Phospholipase
  • Rice
  • Salt stress

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