Journal Article

Contrasting globulin and cysteine proteinase gene expression patterns reveal fundamental developmental differences between zygotic and somatic embryos of oil palm

Frédérique Aberlenc-Bertossi, Nathalie Chabrillange, Yves Duval and James Tregear

in Tree Physiology

Volume 28, issue 8, pages 1157-1167
Published in print August 2008 | ISSN: 0829-318X
Published online August 2008 | e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/treephys/28.8.1157
Contrasting globulin and cysteine proteinase gene expression patterns reveal fundamental developmental differences between zygotic and somatic embryos of oil palm

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Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) somatic embryos differ from zygotic embryos in that they accumulate only small amounts of storage proteins. We compared the balance between deposition and degradation of storage proteins during zygotic or somatic embryogenesis and germinative growth in the two types of embryos. During mid to late zygotic embryogenesis, storage proteins accumulated and globulin 7S (GLO7A) gene transcripts were detected, whereas neither protease activity nor cysteine proteinase (CPR) gene transcripts were detected. Globulin degradation occurred after 8 days of in vitro germination in zygotic embryos and was accompanied by a decrease in GLO7A transcripts. Transcripts of three cysteine proteinase genes of the papain family were detected as early as Day 2 of in vitro germination. Several proteolytically active protein bands were identified by zymography, and CPR-like proteins were detected with an antibody raised against the Vicia sativa L. cysteine proteinase CPR1. Protease activities and CPR-like proteins were observed from Day 8 onward when globulin degradation occurred.

During somatic embryogenesis and subsequent germinative growth, only small amounts of storage proteins accumulated, even though GLO7A transcripts were detected. Two of the three cysteine proteinase genes were expressed throughout both somatic embryogenesis and germinative growth. Protease activities and CPR-like protein species were detected in somatic embryos at several developmental stages. In contrast to zygotic embryogenesis, the accumulation of globulins and their subsequent mobilization appear to be concomitant processes during somatic embryogenesis, which could explain the low accumulation of storage proteins in somatic embryos.

Keywords: Elaeis guineensis; embryogenesis; germination; protease; storage protein

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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