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Keywords:

  • Cress (Lepidium sativum);
  • Endosperm weakening;
  • Micropylar endosperm cap;
  • Plant proteomics;
  • Seed germination

Abstract

Mature angiosperm seeds consist of an embryo surrounded by the endosperm and the testa. The endosperm cap that covers the radicle plays a regulatory role during germination and is a major target of abscisic acidinduced inhibition of germination. Cress (Lepidium sativum) is a close relative of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis). Cress seeds offer the unique possibility of performing tissue-specific proteomics due to their larger size while benefiting the genomic tools available for Arabidopsis. This work provides the first description of endosperm cap proteomics during seed germination. An analysis of the proteome of the cress endosperm cap at key stages during germination and after radicle protrusion in the presence and absence of abscisic acid led to the identification of 144 proteins, which were clustered by the changes in their abundances and categorized by function. Proteins with a function in energy production, protein stability and stress response were overrepresented among the identified endosperm cap proteins. This strongly suggests that the cress endosperm cap is not a storage tissue as the cereal endosperm but a metabolically very active tissue regulating the rate of radicle protrusion.