Seed storage proteins
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary It is widely accepted that seed storage proteins accumulate only in cells which have entered the cell expansion phase and do not continue to divide. Here we present data indicating that the accumulation of storage globulins in tobacco begins already during early embryogenesis in a period of sustained mitotic activity. Western blot analysis revealed that polypeptides of the legumin-like 12S globulins (Mr 60000, 40000, 20000) appear at mid/late globular stage, whereas the vicilin-like 7S globulin (Mr 50000) follows during the transition from heart to torpedo stage. The accumulation of legumin-like polypeptides begins first in the endosperm during the mid globular stage followed in the embryo-suspensor complex during the heart-shaped stage. The vicilin-related fraction appears first in the endosperm and three days later in the embryo. Examination of individual cells from squash preparations revealed that protein bodies are not confined to intermitotic cells, but are also present in cells undergoing mitosis. Protein bodies of dividing cells situated outside the mitotic apparatus are not metabolized during cytokinesis. The only cell type which loses its protein bodies completely prior to the first mitotic division is the primary hypophysis cell. Our finding that storage proteins can occur in dividing cells independent of their origin and developmental capacity indicates that the cell expansion hypothesis of storage protein accumulation has to be revised.
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