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Keywords:

  • Abscisic acid;
  • cytosol;
  • dehydrin;
  • maize;
  • membranes;
  • nucleus;
  • protein body;
  • Zea mays

Immunolocalization using polyclonal antibodies raised against a conserved dehydrin amino acid sequence was used to establish the temporal and spatial patterns of dehydrin accumulation in embryo tissue of Zea mays L. (var. Ohio 43) kernels imbibed in the presence of abscisic acid. The temporal pattern of accumulation indicated an increase in dehydrins over time (particularly between 15 and 30 h) and with maximum levels detected 48 h after the onset of imbibition. Dehydrins were first evident, and also the most concentrated, in the cytosol throughout the accumulation period suggesting that the primary function of dehydrins involves the cytosol and the structures contained therein. Only after an accumulation of dehydrins in the cytosol was there an increase in the abundance of nuclear dehydrins. In addition, dehydrins were also observed in association with the proteinaceous matrix of protein bodies and membranes of protein and lipid bodies; these findings have not been reported previously. The observed localization at a number of sites indicates that the specific biochemical roles of dehydrins are likely to be diverse.