Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 191, Issue 1–2, pp 39–56 | Cite as

Molecular heterogeneity of Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata Fabaceae) seed storage proteins

  • Martin Fotso
  • Jean-Louis Azanza
  • Remy Pasquet
  • Jacques Raymond


81 wild forms and 110 cultivated cowpea,Vigna unguiculata, accessions from 21 countries of Africa were screened for variability in seed storage proteins. Total seed proteins, albumin and globulin fractions were investigated by means of sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and isoelectric focusing (IEF) of nonreduced and/or reduced samples in one- and two-dimensional procedures. The globulin fraction is heterogeneous in molecular weight and contains both legumin-like components and three to six nondisulfide-linked subunits. Three globulin subunits, with molecular weights 110, 76, and 41 kD were found to be composed of disulfide-linked polypeptides. In the nondisulfide-linked fraction, both cultivated and wild forms exhibited patterns of four types (A–D). This fraction contains polypeptide subunits of molecular weights 62, 56, and 52 kD for A type, 62, 56, 54, and 52 kD for B type, 62, 56, 52, and 50 kD for C type, and at least 62, 56, 54, 52, 50, and 49 kD for D type. These subunits present similar multiple charge forms but C and D types possess more basic specific 50 and 49 kD nondisulfide linked components. Major albumin fraction contains subunits of 94, 86, 32, and 24kD. No infraspecific variation was observed in albumin or legumin-like fractions. The discussion is focussed on the relations between genetic variability assessed by storage protein coding genes and phenotypic variability.

Key words

Fabaceae Vigna unguiculata Seed storage proteins globulin albumin infraspecific analysis SDS-PAGE IEF 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Fotso
    • 1
  • Jean-Louis Azanza
    • 2
  • Remy Pasquet
    • 3
  • Jacques Raymond
    • 2
  1. 1.IMPM, Centre de NutritionYaoundeCameroon
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Biochimie et Technologie des AlimentsUniversité de Bordeaux 1Talence CedexFrance
  3. 3.Institut Français de Recherche Scientifique pour le Développement en Cooperation (ORSTOM)NiameyNiger

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