Skip to main content

Characterization of soybean vegetative storage proteins and genes


Soybean vegetative storage proteins (VSPs) were purified and characterized. Anion exchange HPLC resolved partially purified VSPs into fractions containing 27-kD/27-kD and 29-kD/29-kD homodimers and 27-kD/29-kD heterodimers. Reversed-phase HPLC resolved partially purified VSPs into three fractions. One fraction contained only 27-kD VSP and the other two contained 29-kD VSP. The two 29-kD VSP fractions differed with respect to their cyanogen bromide cleavage patterns, an observation that indicated the 29-kD VSPs were heterogeneous. Genomic clones that contained 29-kD VSP genes were also isolated and characterized. One genomic clone contained a complete 29-kD VSP gene and was sequenced. The coding region in the clone contained two introns whose borders had regulatory sequences typical of other eukaryotic genes. Putative polyadenlyation signals were present in the 3′-flanking region of the gene, while putative TATA, CAAT, and enhancer core sequences were found in the 5′-flanking regions. A second genomic clone that was studied contained the 5′ regions of two partial 29-kD VSP genes in an inverted linkage. Genomic DNA gel blots showed that the two genes were organized in the same arrangement in the soybean genome.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. Anderson JM, Spilatro SR, Klauer SF, Franceschi VR (1989) Jasmonic acid-dependent increase in the level of vegetative storage proteins in soybean. Plant Sci 62:45–52

    Google Scholar 

  2. Benton WD, Davis RW (1977) Screening λgt recombinant clones by hybridization to single plaques in situ. Science 196:180

    Google Scholar 

  3. Fischer RL, Goldberg RB (1982) Structure and flanking regions of soybean seed protein genes. Cell 29:651–660

    Google Scholar 

  4. Kuhlemeier C, Fluhr R, Green PJ, Chua N-H (1987) Sequences in the pea rbcS-3A gene have homology to constitutive mammalian enhancers but function as negative regulatory elements. Genes Dev 1:247–255

    Google Scholar 

  5. Kuhlemeier C, Cuozzo M, Green PJ, Goyvaerts E, Ward K, Chua N-H (1988) Localization and conditional redundancy of regulatory elements in rbcS-3A, a pea gene encoding the small subunit of ribulose-biphosphate carboxylase. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 85:4662–4666

    Google Scholar 

  6. Laemmli UK (1970) Cleavage of structural proteins during the assembly of the head of bacteriophage T4. Nature 227:680–685

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Mason HS, Guerrero FD, Boyer JS, Mullet JE (1988) Proteins homologous to leaf glycoproteins are abundant in stems of dark-grown soybean seedlings. Analysis of proteins and cDNAs. Plant Mol Biol 11:845–856

    Google Scholar 

  8. Meyer A, Miersch O, Buttner C, Dathe W, Sembdner G (1984) Occurrence of the plant growth regulator jasmonic acid in plants. J Plant Growth Reg 3:1–8

    Google Scholar 

  9. Nute PE, Mahoney WC (1979) Complete amino acid sequence of the λ chain from the major fetal hemaglobin of the pigtailed macaque, Macaca nemestrina. Biochemistry 18:467–472

    Google Scholar 

  10. Pate JS (1980) Transport and partitioning of nitrogenous sollutes. Annu Rev Plant Physiol 31:313–340

    Google Scholar 

  11. Rapp, WD (1989) Isolation and characterization of soybean vegetative storage proteins and their genes. PhD Thesis, Purdue University, West Lafayette/IN

    Google Scholar 

  12. Sanger F, Nicklen S, Coulsen AR (1977) DNA sequencing with chain-terminating inhibitors. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 74:5463–5467

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Sassone-Corsi P, Borrelli E (1986) Transcriptional regulation by trans-acting factors. Trends Genet 2:215–219

    Google Scholar 

  14. Sesay A, Shibles R (1980) Mineral depletion and leaf senescence in soybean as influenced by foliar nutrient application durng seed filling. Ann Bot 45:47–55

    Google Scholar 

  15. Siezen RJ, Bindels JG, Hoenders HJ (1980) The quaternary structure of bovine α-crystallin: chemical cross-linking with bifunctional imido esters. Eur J Biochem 107:243–249

    Google Scholar 

  16. Simpson RJ (1986) Translocation and metabolism of nitrogen: whole plant aspects. In: Lambers H, Neeteson JJ, Stulen I (eds) Fundamental, ecological, and agricultural aspects of nitrogen metabolism in higher plants. Nijhoff, Dordrecht, pp 71–96

    Google Scholar 

  17. Staswick PE (1988) Soybean vegetative storage protein structure and gene expression. Plant Physiol 87:250–254

    Google Scholar 

  18. Staswick PE (1989) Developmental regulation and the influence of plant sinks on vegetative storage protein gene expression in soybean leaves. Plant Physiol 89:309–315

    Google Scholar 

  19. Thibodeau PS, Jaworski EG (1975) Patterns of nitrogen utilization in the soybean. Planta 127:133–147

    Google Scholar 

  20. Wittenbach VA (1983 a) Effect of pod removal on leaf photosynthesis and soluble protein composition of field-grown soybeans. Plant Physiol 73:121–124

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. Wittenbach VA (1983b) Purification and characterization of a soybean leaf storage protein glycoprotein. Plant Physiol 73:125–129

    Google Scholar 

  22. Wittenbach VA, Ackerson RC, Giaquinta RT, Hebert RR (1980) Changes in photosynthesis, ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase, proteolytic activity, and ultrastructure of soybean leaves during senescence. Crop Sci 20:225–231

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Additional information

Cooperative research between USDA/Agricultural Research Service and the Indiana Agricultural Experiment Station. Journal Paper No. 12,192 from the Indiana Agricultural Experiment Station

Communicated by J. Beckmann

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Rapp, W.D., Lilley, G.G. & Nielsen, N.C. Characterization of soybean vegetative storage proteins and genes. Theoret. Appl. Genetics 79, 785–792 (1990).

Download citation

Key words

  • Vegetative storage protein
  • Nitrogen
  • Soybean
  • Glycine max