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Characterization and functional biology of the soybean aleurone layer

Schmidt, Monica A., Herman, Eliot M.
BMC plant biology 2018 v.18 no.1 pp. 354
abiotic stress, aleurone layer, biotic stress, endosperm, gene expression, genes, genomics, lipid content, oilseed crops, proteins, rapid methods, seeds, soybeans
BACKGROUND: Soybean is a globally important oil seed crop. Both the high protein and oil content of soybean seeds make this crop a lucrative commodity. As in higher eukaryotic species with available genomes, the functional annotation of most of soybean’s genes still remains to be investigated. A major hurdle in the functional genomics of soybean is a rapid method to test gene constructs before embarking on stable transformation experiments. RESULTS: In this paper we describe the morphology and composition of the persistent single-cell aleurone layer that derives from the endosperm of developing soybean seeds. Its composition compared to cotyledonary tissue indicates the aleurone layer plays a role in both abiotic and biotic stress. The potential utility as the aleurone layer as a transient expression system in soybean was shown. As a near transparent single-cell layer it can be used as a transient expression system to study transgene expression and inter- and intra-cellular targeting as it is amenable to microscopic techniques. CONCLUSION: The transparent single cell aleurone layer was shown to be compositionally comparable to cotyledonary tissue in soybean with an enrichment in oxidative response proteins and shown to be a potential transient expression platform.