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Mol Plant. 2008 Nov;1(6):910-24. doi: 10.1093/mp/ssn049. Epub 2008 Sep 15.

Suppression of soybean oleosin produces micro-oil bodies that aggregate into oil body/ER complexes.

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Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St Louis, MO 63132, USA.


Using RNAi, the seed oil body protein 24-kDa oleosin has been suppressed in transgenic soybeans. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) forms micro-oil bodies about 50 nm in diameter that coalesce with adjacent oil bodies forming a hierarchy of oil body sizes. The oil bodies in the oleosin knockdown form large oil body-ER complexes with the interior dominated by micro-oil bodies and intermediate-sized oil bodies, while the peripheral areas of the complex are dominated by large oil bodies. The complex merges to form giant oil bodies with onset of seed dormancy that disrupts cell structure. The transcriptome of the oleosin knockdown shows few changes compared to wild-type. Proteomic analysis of the isolated oil bodies of the 24-kDa oleosin knockdown shows the absence of the 24-kDa oleosin and the presence of abundant caleosin and lipoxygenase. The formation of the micro-oil bodies in the oleosin knockdown is interpreted to indicate a function of the oleosin as a surfactant.

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