Water stress affects plant growth and development, leading to agricultural crop losses in maize cultivation. It also threatens food security in economical crops such as maize, one of the major crops produced worldwide. Transcriptomic studies associated with morphological assessments have been widely conducted on the mechanisms of crop development and stress response; however, data on maize is still very much limited. Hence herein, we used both the morphological and proteomic analyses to investigate and establish physical features and proteins associated with maize in response to osmotic stress. In addition, proteomic analysis (1DE and 2DE techniques) was used to separate and enumerate water stress responsive proteins. Morphologically, a decrease in the overall growth of the maize plant as a result of water stress was observed, whereby features such as leaf colour and size, shoot height and stem diameter were negatively affected. Through proteomics analyses, a total of nine expressed proteins were revealed in response to water stress. Overall, this work, has successfully profiled the water stress responsive proteins and specifically indicating the efficiency of proteomic tools in the detection and analysis of qualitative proteins from maize.
Key words: Zea mays, water stress, induced proteins, proteomics, plant response, crop losses.