Identification of differentially expressed proteins between hybrid and parents in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) seedling leaves


In spite of commercial use of heterosis in agriculture, the molecular basis of heterosis is poorly understood. To gain a better understanding of the molecular basis of wheat heterosis, we carried out a comparative proteomic analysis in seedling leaves between wheat hybrid and parents. Common wheat (Triticum aestivum L., 2n = 6x = 42, AABBDD) Line 3338 and spelt wheat (Triticum spelta L., 2n = 6x = 42, AABBDD) Line 2463 were used to produce a heterotic F1 hybrid. The expression patterns of the total proteins were compared in seedling leaves between hybrid and its parents by using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis with two pH ranges for the first dimension separation. Among ~900 protein spots reproducibly detected, 49 protein spots were identified as being differentially expressed between hybrid and its parental lines (P < 0.05) for more than 1.5-folds. Six possible modes of differential expression were observed, including high- and low-parent dominance, underdominance, and overdominance, uniparent silencing and uniparent dominance. Moreover, 30 of the 49 differentially expressed protein spots were identified, which were involved in metabolism, signal transduction, energy, cell growth and division, disease and defense, secondary metabolism. These results indicated that wheat hybridization can cause protein expression differences between hybrid and its parents; these proteins were involved in diverse physiological process pathways, which might be responsible for the observed heterosis.

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Adenosine diphosphate


Adenosine triphosphate


Best-parent heterosis


Chemical hybridizing agent


3-[(3-Cholamidopropyl)-dimethylammonio]-1-propane sulfonate


A-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid


Differential display reverse transcript


Down-regulated in hybrid




Fructose-1,6-bisphosphate aldolase


Gene ontology


High-dominant in hybrid


Isoelectric focusing


Low-dominant in hybrid


Leaf dry weight


Leaf fresh weight


Leucine-rich repeat protein


Mid-parent heterosis


Mass spectrometry


Peptide map fingerprinting


Post translational modification


Rubisco activase


Rubisco large subunit


Suppression subtractive hybridization


Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis


Trifluoroacetic acid


Toll/interleukin-1 receptor


Total leaf number


Total tiller number


Dominant expression of uniparental proteins in hybrids


Dominant expression of uniparental proteins but not in hybrids


Up-regulated in hybrid


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The authors wish to thank Mr. Jidong Feng for his assistance in mass spectrometry analysis. This work was financially supported by National Basic Research Program of China (2007CB109000), National Natural Science Foundation of China (30671297), Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University (No. NCET-05-0131) and 863 Project of China.

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Correspondence to Zhongfu Ni or Qixin Sun.

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X. Song and Z. Ni have equally contributed to this work.

Communicated by M. Kearsey.

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Song, X., Ni, Z., Yao, Y. et al. Identification of differentially expressed proteins between hybrid and parents in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) seedling leaves. Theor Appl Genet 118, 213 (2009).

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  • Protein Spot
  • Differential Expression Pattern
  • Rubisco Activase
  • Wheat Hybrid
  • Differential Protein Expression