Comparative proteomic and transcriptomic analyses provide new insight into the formation of seed size in castor bean.BMC Plant Biol. 2020 Jan 30; 20(1):48.BP
Little is known about the molecular basis of seed size formation in endospermic seed of dicotyledons. The seed of castor bean (Ricinus communis L.) is considered as a model system in seed biology studies because of its persistent endosperms throughout seed development.
We compared the size of endosperm and endospermic cells between ZB107 and ZB306 and found that the larger seed size of ZB107 resulted from a higher cell count in the endosperm, which occupy a significant amount of the total seed volume. In addition, fresh weight, dry weight, and protein content of seeds were remarkably higher in ZB107 than in ZB306. Comparative proteomic and transcriptomic analyses were performed between large-seed ZB107 and small-seed ZB306, using isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) and RNA-seq technologies, respectively. A total of 1416 protein species were identified, of which 173 were determined as differentially abundant protein species (DAPs). Additionally, there were 9545 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between ZB306 and ZB107. Functional analyses revealed that these DAPs and DEGs were mainly involved in cell division and the metabolism of carbohydrates and proteins.
These findings suggest that both cell number and storage-component accumulation are critical for the formation of seed size, providing new insight into the potential mechanisms behind seed size formation in endospermic seeds.