Mannans and endo-β-mannanase transcripts are located in different seed compartments during Brassicaceae germination
Mannans but not endo-β-mannanases are mainly found in the mucilage layer of two Brassicaceae seeds. Nonetheless, mannanase mobilization from inner to outer seed layers cannot be ruled out.
The contribution of endo-β-mannanase (MAN) genes to the germination of the wild-type Sisymbrium officinale and cultivated Brassica rapa (Brassicaceae) species has been explored. In both species, mannans have been localized to the imbibed external seed coat layer (mucilage) by fluorescence immunolocalization and MAN enzymatic activity increases in seeds as imbibition progresses, reaching a peak before 100% germination is achieved. The MAN gene families have been annotated and the expression of their members analyzed in vegetative and reproductive organs. In S. officinale and B. rapa, MAN2, MAN5, MAN6, and MAN7 transcripts accumulate upon seed imbibition. SoMAN7 is the most expressed MAN gene in S. officinale germinating seeds, as occurs with its ortholog in Arabidopsis thaliana, but in B. rapa, the most abundant transcripts are BrMAN2 and BrMAN5. These genes (MAN2, MAN5, MAN6, and MAN7) are localized, by mRNA in situ hybridization, to the micropylar at the endosperm layer and to the radicle in S. officinale, but in B. rapa, these mRNAs are faintly found to the micropylar living seed coat layer and are mainly present at the radicle tip and the vascular bundles. If the domestication process undergone by B. rapa is responsible for these different MAN expression patterns, upon germination remains to be elucidated. Since mannans and MAN genes are not spatially distributed in the same seed tissues, a movement of MAN enzymes that are synthesized with typical signal peptides from the embryo tissues to the mucilage layer (via apoplastic space) is necessary for the mannans to be hydrolyzed.
KeywordsBrassica rapa Endo-β-mannanase Germination Mannans Mucilage Seed Sisymbrium officinale
Cell wall modifying enzymes
Living seed coat layer
We thank Prof. P. Carbonero (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas, Madrid, Spain) for critical reading of the manuscript. Financial support was granted by Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (CGL2009-11425; MICINN, Spain).
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