Lipidomic reprogramming associated with drought stress priming-enhanced heat tolerance in tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea)

Xiaxiang Zhang, Yi Xu, Bingru Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Stress priming by exposing plants to a mild or moderate drought could enhance plant tolerance to subsequent heat stress. Lipids play vital roles in stress adaptation, but how lipidomic profiles change, affecting the cross-stress tolerance, is largely unknown. The objectives of this study were to perform lipidomics, to analyse the content, composition, and saturation levels of lipids in leaves of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) following drought priming and subsequent heat stress, and to identify major lipids and molecular species associated with priming-enhanced heat tolerance. Plants were initially exposed to drought for 8 days by withholding irrigation and subsequently subjected to 25 days of heat stress (38/33°C day/night) in growth chambers. Drought-primed plants maintained significantly higher leaf relative water content, chlorophyll content, photochemical efficiency, and lower electrolyte leakage than nonprimed plants under heat stress. Drought priming enhanced the accumulation of phospholipids and glycolipids involved in membrane stabilization and stress signalling (phosphatidic acid, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylglycerol, and digalactosyl diacylglycerol) during subsequent exposure to heat stress. The reprogramming of lipid metabolism for membrane stabilization and signalling in response to drought priming and subsequent exposure to heat stress could contribute to drought priming-enhanced heat tolerance in cool-season grass species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)947-958
Number of pages12
JournalPlant Cell and Environment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


  • drought priming
  • glycolipids
  • heat tolerance
  • lipidomics
  • phospholipids
  • tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea)


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