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Characterization of five subgroups of the sieve element occlusion gene family in Glycine max reveals genes encoding non-forisome P-proteins, forisomes and forisome tails

: Zielonka, S.; Ernst, A.M.; Hawat, S.; Twyman, R.M.; Prüfer, D.; Noll, G.A.


Plant Molecular Biology 86 (2014), No.1-2, pp.51-67
ISSN: 0167-4412
ISSN: 1573-5028
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IME ()

P-proteins are structural phloem proteins discussed to be involved in the rapid sealing of injured sieve elements. P-proteins are found in all dicotyledonous and some monocotyledonous plants, but additional crystalloid P-proteins, known as forisomes, have evolved solely in the Fabaceae. Both types are encoded by members of the sieve element occlusion (SEO) gene family, which comprises seven phylogenetic subgroups. The Fabaceae-specific subgroup 1 contains genes encoding forisome subunits in e.g. Medicago truncatula, Vicia faba, Dipteryx panamensis and Canavalia gladiata whereas basal subgroup 5 encodes P-proteins in Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco) and Arabidopsis thaliana. The function of remaining subgroups is still unknown. We chose Glycine max (soybean) as a model to investigate SEO proteins representing different subgroups in one species. We isolated native P-proteins to determine the SEO protein composition and analyzed the expression pattern, localization and structure of the G. max SEO proteins representing five of the subgroups. We found that subgroup 1 GmSEO genes encode forisome subunits, a member of subgroup 5 encodes a non-forisome P-protein and subgroup 2 GmSEO genes encode the components of forisome tails, which are present in a restricted selection of Fabaceaen species. We therefore present the first molecular characterization of a Fabaceae non-forisome P-protein and the first evidence that forisome tails are encoded by a phylogenetically-distinct branch of the SEO gene family.