Crop Biotech Update

Gene Expression Profile Changes in Germinating Rice

November 11, 2011

The ability of the seed to absorb water is one of the important factors in germination. During absorption, the flow of water into the seed activates several physiological and metabolic processes in the germinating seed. To understand further the mechanisms involved in seed germination, Chinese Academy of Sciences scientist Dongli He and colleagues studied the different changes in protein profile of rice seeds during the first 48 hours of water absorption.

They used two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and identified 39 differentially expressed proteins, 19 of which exhibiting decreased expression during absorption while the other 20 have increased expression. Among the down-regulated proteins were involved in storage, seed development, and desiccation. This change in activity indicated substantial mobilization of seed reserves.

On the other hand, the up-regulated proteins include those that are involved in the breaking down of complex molecules that result into the release of energy. Further analysis also showed that the genes encoding the identified proteins also exhibit the same behavior at the mRNA level.

Results of the study provides additional information in understanding the molecular mechanisms of seed germination.

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