Conserved and Unique Features of the Maize (<i>Zea mays</i> L.) Root Hair Proteome

Root hairs are unicellular extensions of specialized epidermis cells. Under limiting conditions, they significantly increase the water and nutrient uptake capacity of plants by enlarging their root surface. Thus far, little is known about the initiation and growth of root hairs in the monocot model species maize. To gain a first insight into the protein composition of these specialized cells, the 2573 most abundant proteins of maize root hairs attached to four-day-old primary roots of the inbred line B73 were identified by combining 1DE with nanoLC−MS/MS in a shotgun proteomic experiment. Among the identified proteins, homologues of 252 proteins have been previously associated with root hair formation and development in other species. Comparison of the root hair reference proteome of the monocot species maize with the previously published root hair proteome of the dicot species soybean revealed conserved, but also unique, protein functions in root hairs of these two major groups of flowering plants.