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Plant J. 2008 Nov;56(3):398-410. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2008.03610.x. Epub 2008 Jul 4.

Exploring the nuclear proteome of Medicago truncatula at the switch towards seed filling.

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INRA, UMR102 Genetics and Ecophysiology of Grain Legumes, 21000 Dijon, France.


Despite its importance in determining seed composition, and hence quality, regulation of the development of legume seeds is incompletely understood. Because of the cardinal role played by the nucleus in gene expression and regulation, we have characterized the nuclear proteome of Medicago truncatula at the 12 days after pollination (dap) stage that marks the switch towards seed filling. Nano-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis of nuclear protein bands excised from one-dimensional SDS-PAGE identified 179 polypeptides (143 different proteins), providing an insight into the complexity and distinctive feature of the seed nuclear proteome and highlighting new plant nuclear proteins with possible roles in the biogenesis of ribosomal subunits (PESCADILLO-like) or nucleocytoplasmic trafficking (dynamin-like GTPase). The results revealed that nuclei of 12-dap seeds store a pool of ribosomal proteins in preparation for intense protein synthesis activity, occurring subsequently during seed filling. Diverse proteins of the molecular machinery leading to the synthesis of ribosomal subunits were identified along with proteins involved in transcriptional regulation, RNA processing or transport. Some had already been shown to play a role during the early stages of seed formation whereas for others the findings are novel (e.g. the DIP2 and ES43 transcriptional regulators or the RNA silencing-related ARGONAUTE proteins). This study also revealed the presence of chromatin-modifying enzymes and RNA interference proteins that have roles in RNA-directed DNA methylation and may be involved in modifying genome architecture and accessibility during seed filling and maturation.

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