Background: The endemic seagrass Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile colonizes soft bottoms producing highly productive meadows that play a crucial role in coastal ecosystems dynamics. Human activities and natural events are responsible for a widespread meadows regression; to date the identification of "diagnostic" tools to monitor conservation status is a critical issue. In this study the feasibility of a novel tool to evaluate ecological impacts on Posidonia meadows has been tested. Quantification of a putative stress indicator, i.e. phenols content, has been coupled to 2-D electrophoretic protein analysis of rhizome samples. Results: The overall expression pattern from Posidonia rhizome was determined using a preliminary proteomic approach, 437 protein spots were characterized by p/ and molecular weight. We found that protein expression differs in samples belonging to sites with high or low phenols: 22 unique protein spots are peculiar of "low phenols" and 27 other spots characterize "high phenols" samples. Conclusion: Posidonia showed phenols variations within the meadow, that probably reflect the heterogeneity of environmental pressures. In addition, comparison of the 2-D electrophoresis patterns allowed to highlight qualitative protein expression differences in response to these pressures. These differences may account for changes in metabolic/physiological pathways as adaptation to stress. A combined approach, based on phenols content determination and 2-D electrophoresis protein pattern, seems a promising tool to monitor Posidonia meadows health state.
Migliore, L., Rotini, A., Randazzo, D., Albanese, N. N., & Giallongo, A. (2007). Phenols content and 2-D electrophoresis protein pattern: A promising tool to monitor Posidonia meadows health state. BMC Ecology, 7. https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6785-7-6