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Plant Physiol. 2001 Jun;126(2):835-48.

Proteomic analysis of arabidopsis seed germination and priming.

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Laboratoire Mixte Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique-Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique-Aventis, Aventis CropScience, Lyon, France.


To better understand seed germination, a complex developmental process, we developed a proteome analysis of the model plant Arabidopsis for which complete genome sequence is now available. Among about 1,300 total seed proteins resolved in two-dimensional gels, changes in the abundance (up- and down-regulation) of 74 proteins were observed during germination sensu stricto (i.e. prior to radicle emergence) and the radicle protrusion step. This approach was also used to analyze protein changes occurring during industrial seed pretreatments such as priming that accelerate seed germination and improve seedling uniformity. Several proteins were identified by matrix-assisted laser-desorption ionization time of flight mass spectrometry. Some of them had previously been shown to play a role during germination and/or priming in several plant species, a finding that underlines the usefulness of using Arabidopsis as a model system for molecular analysis of seed quality. Furthermore, the present study, carried out at the protein level, validates previous results obtained at the level of gene expression (e.g. from quantitation of differentially expressed mRNAs or analyses of promoter/reporter constructs). Finally, this approach revealed new proteins associated with the different phases of seed germination and priming. Some of them are involved either in the imbibition process of the seeds (such as an actin isoform or a WD-40 repeat protein) or in the seed dehydration process (e.g. cytosolic glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase). These facts highlight the power of proteomics to unravel specific features of complex developmental processes such as germination and to detect protein markers that can be used to characterize seed vigor of commercial seed lots and to develop and monitor priming treatments.

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