Hymenaea courbaril or jatoba is a tropical tree known for its medically important secondary metabolites production. Considering climate change, the goal of this study was to investigate differential expression of proteins and lipids produced by this tree under heat stress conditions. Total lipid was extracted from heat stressed plant leaves and various sesquiterpenes produced by the tree under heat stress were identified. Gas chromatographic and mass spectrometric analysis were used to study lipid and volatile compounds produced by the plant. Several volatiles, isoprene, 2-methyl butanenitrile, β ocimene and a numbers of sesquiterpenes differentially produced by the plant under heat stress were identified. We propose these compounds were produced by the tree to cope up with heat stress. A protein gel electrophoresis (2-D DIGE) was performed to study differential expression of proteins in heat stressed plants. Several proteins were found to be expressed many folds different in heat stressed plants compared to the control. These proteins included heat shock proteins, histone proteins, oxygen evolving complex, and photosynthetic proteins, which, we believe, played key roles in imparting thermotolerance in Hymenaea tree. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of extensive molecular physiological study of Hymenaea trees under heat stress. This work will open avenues of further research on effects of heat stress in Hymenaea and the findings can be applied to understand how global warming can affect physiology of other plants.
Keywords: 2D-DIGE, 2D-difference in gel electrophoresis; GC-MS, gas chromatography – linked to mass spectrometer; GO, gene ontology; HS, heat stressed; HSPs, heat shock proteins; MALDI-TOF, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight; MAPK, mitogen; Hymenaea; biofuel; heat stress; protein; sesquiterpene; thermotolerance.