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Plant Physiol. 1992 May;99(1):263-8.

Effects of sulfur nutrition on expression of the soybean seed storage protein genes in transgenic petunia.

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  • 1Department of Agricultural Chemistry, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tokyo, Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113, Japan.


The 7S seed storage protein (beta-conglycinin) of soybean (Glycine max [L]. Merr.) has three major subunits; alpha, alpha', and beta. Accumulation of the beta-subunit, but not the alpha- and alpha'-subunits, has been shown to be repressed by exogenously applied methionine to the immature cotyledon culture system (LP Holowach, JF Thompson, JT Madison [1984] Plant Physiol 74: 576-583) and to be enhanced under sulfate deficiency in soybean plants (KR Gayler, GE Sykes [1985] Plant Physiol 78: 582-585). Transgenic petunia (Petunia hybrida) harboring either the alpha'- or beta-subunit gene were constructed to test whether the patterns of differential expression were retained in petunia. Petunia regulates these genes in a similar way as soybean in response to sulfur nutritional stimuli, i.e. (a) expression of the beta-subunit gene is repressed by exogenous methionine in in vitro cultured seeds, whereas the alpha'-subunit gene expression is not affected; and (b) accumulation of the beta-subunit is enhanced by sulfur deficiency. The pattern of accumulation of major seed storage protein of petunia was not affected by these treatments. These results indicate that this mechanism of gene regulation in response to sulfur nutrition is conserved in petunia even though it is not used to regulate its own major seed storage proteins.

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