Innovative approaches to evaluate sugar beet responses to changes in sulfate availability

Piergiorgio Stevanato, Chiara Broccanello, Vita M. C. Moliterni, Giuseppe Mandolino, Valeria Barone, Luigi Lucini, Giovanni Bertoldo, Marco Bertaggia, Massimo Cagnin, Diego Pizzeghello, Andrea Baglieri, Andrea Squartini, Giuseppe Concheri, Serenella Nardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, a system based on omics profiling was set-up for sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L. subsp. vulgaris) evaluation after changes in sulfate availability. Seedlings were grown on sulfate-deprived Hoagland solution. Six days after germination, 100 µM MgSO4was added to the solution. Root samples were collected 36 h after treatments. WinRHIZO root-scanning approach was used for the automated image analysis of plant root morphology. Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectrometry (ICP-OES) and quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (Q-TOF) were used for ionomic and metabolic analysis, respectively. Nanofluidic real-time PCR (OpenArray system) was used for molecular profiling. OpenArray chips were designed with TaqMan probes for 53 sugar beet genes putatively involved in sulfate nutrition. At morphological level treated seedlings showed significantly higher values (P < 0.01) than untreated plants for root traits related to soil exploration and nutrient uptake, such as total root length, fine roots length and root tips number. ICP-OES, Q-TOF and transcriptomic data revealed changes due to sulfate availability in sugar beet samples. Two key results are highlighted in sulfate-supplied roots and leaves. Firstly, high expression levels of auxin efflux carrier component 1 (PIN) and 5-phosphoribosyl-anthranilate, precursor of tryptophan and auxin synthesis, were observed in roots. Secondly, high levels of 2-Cys peroxiredoxin BAS1, chloroplastic, thioredoxin reductase (NADPH) and cysteine synthase, chloroplastic/chromoplastic, O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase, involved in protection against oxidative stress and cysteine synthase activity, respectively, were observed in leaves. Based on our findings, the combination of evaluated omics approaches could become a key system for the evaluation of the nutritional status of sugar beet under different nutrient availability conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-14
Number of pages1
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • High-throughput qPCR profiling
  • Nutritional stress
  • Omics profiling
  • Plant Science
  • Sugar beet yield
  • Sulfate availability


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