Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 1165–1176 | Cite as

Cruciferin gene families are expressed coordinately but with tissue-specific differences during Brassica napus seed development

  • Staffan Sjödahl
  • Hans-Olof Gustavsson
  • Joakim Rödin
  • Marit Lenman
  • Anna-Stina Höglund
  • Lars Rask
Research Article


The major storage protein in seeds of Brassica napus, the 12S globulin cruciferin, is composed of three different groups of subunits; cru1, cru2/3 and cru4. By using gene family-specific probes, we have investigated the accumulation, rate of synthesis and spatial distribution of transcripts corresponding to the different groups of cruciferin subunits in developing seeds. Cruciferin transcripts derived from different gene families accumulate coordinately to comparable amounts during seed development. The corresponding gene families are, however, transcribed at different rates. Investigation of the spatial distribution of transcripts corresponding to each group of cruciferin subunits in the developing seed by in situ hybridization, revealed that mRNAs of all three types accumulate in both axis and cotyledons. Transcripts derived from cru1 and cru4 gene families show a similar cell specificity and accumulate in a similar spatial manner during seed development. In contrast, mRNAs corresponding to the cru2/3 gene family are expressed with a partly different cell specificity and show a slightly different pattern of accumulation in the axis and cotyledons, with a delayed accumulation in epidermal cells. In the cotyledons, the initial accumulation of this type of cruciferin mRNAs is also distinguished from the two other types. The differences in cell specificity are seen in the root cap and in provascular cells, where mRNAs belonging to the cru2/3 family are absent.

Key words

cruciferin 12S globulin Brassica napus gene families transcription in situ hybridization 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Staffan Sjödahl
    • 1
  • Hans-Olof Gustavsson
    • 1
  • Joakim Rödin
    • 1
  • Marit Lenman
    • 1
  • Anna-Stina Höglund
    • 1
  • Lars Rask
    • 1
  1. 1.Uppsala Genetic Center, Department of Cell ResearchSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUppsalaSweden

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