Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 129, Issue 3, pp 613–629 | Cite as

A tripartite approach identifies the major sunflower seed albumins

  • Achala S. Jayasena
  • Bastian Franke
  • Johan Rosengren
  • Joshua S. Mylne
Original Article


Key message

We have used a combination of genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic approaches to identify the napin-type albumin genes in sunflower and define their contributions to the seed albumin pool.


Seed protein content is determined by the expression of what are typically large gene families. A major class of seed storage proteins is the napin-type, water soluble albumins. In this work we provide a comprehensive analysis of the napin-type albumin content of the common sunflower (Helianthus annuus) by analyzing a draft genome, a transcriptome and performing a proteomic analysis of the seed albumin fraction. We show that although sunflower contains at least 26 genes for napin-type albumins, only 15 of these are present at the mRNA level. We found protein evidence for 11 of these but the albumin content of mature seeds is dominated by the encoded products of just three genes. So despite high genetic redundancy for albumins, only a small sub-set of this gene family contributes to total seed albumin content. The three genes identified as producing the majority of sunflower seed albumin are potential future candidates for manipulation through genetics and breeding.


High Performance Liquid Chromatography Draft Genome Sunflower Seed Seed Storage Protein Helianthus Annuus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



A.S.J. is supported by an International Postgraduate Research Scholarship and an Australian Postgraduate Award. B.F. was supported by Australian Research Council grant DP120103369. J.R. and J.S.M. are supported by Australian Research Council Future Fellowships FT130100890 and FT120100013, respectively. Authors would like to acknowledge Prof. Loren Rieseberg (University of British Columbia) for providing access to a draft sunflower genome, the BAC/EST Resource Center of the Arizona Genomics Institute (University of Arizona) and David Kudrna for H. annuus cDNA clones and the Compositae Genome Project website ( supported by the USDA IFAFS Programme and NSF Plant Genome Programme for EST data. The authors also thank Michelle Colgrave, Nicolas Taylor, Richard Jacoby and Mark Condina for valuable advice on proteomics. This work was supported by Australian Research Council grant DP130101191.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicting interests.

Supplementary material

122_2015_2653_MOESM1_ESM.txt (4 kb)
Supplementary Data Set 1. FASTA list of all 26 sunflower preproalbumin sequences (SESA1-SESA21, PawL1-PawL3, PawS1 and PawS2). (TXT 4 kb)
122_2015_2653_MOESM2_ESM.eps (3.9 mb)
Supplementary Fig. 1 Alignment of the predicted sunflower albumin sequences. (A) Alignment of dimeric albumins. (B) Alignment of double albumins. (C) Alignment of PawS-type albumins. Sequences were aligned using CLC Genomics Workbench 7.5.1 setting the alignment parameters specifically as gap open cost: 9, gap extension cost: 2 and rendered using BOXSHADE. Based on similarity sequences were ordered by CLC automatically. Predicted ER signal (ER), small albumin subunit (SSU), large albumin subunit (LSU), PawS-derived peptide (PDP in PawS) or the PDP-like (in PawL) region, and spacer regions are marked in rose, green, orange, aqua, and black, respectively. Region delimitation was inferred by observing the Cys residue pattern and the potential albumin maturation sites. Red boxes indicate the conserved Cys residues. Partial ORFs are indicated by two lines at the distal ends of the sequence. (EPS 3951 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Achala S. Jayasena
    • 1
  • Bastian Franke
    • 2
  • Johan Rosengren
    • 2
  • Joshua S. Mylne
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Chemistry and Biochemistry and ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy BiologyThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  2. 2.School of Biomedical SciencesThe University of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia

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