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Characterization of olive seed storage proteins

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At present little is known about olive seed storage proteins (SSPs). A better understanding of olive SSPs will be important for future biotechnology efforts. In the present study, we first developed a protocol relied on chloroform for preparing protein samples free of lipids from lipid-rich olive seeds. Then, we characterized olive SSPs by SDS-PAGE, N-terminal sequencing and immunoblot. Two smaller subunits (20 and 21.5 kD) of SSPs were purified to homogeneity and used for antibody production or N-terminal sequencing. N-terminal sequencing confirmed that major olive SSPs are 11S globulins. Moreover, the components and size distribution of SSPs are identical among several olive cultivars examined, suggesting that their synthesis is highly conserved in this species. Olive SSPs are soluble in aqueous alcohol, with limited solubility in water and dilute salt. Thus, despite their homology with globulins, olive SSPs are similar in solubility to prolamins and different from globulins in other dicot plants. Finally, the accumulation of olive SSPs during fruit maturation was examined. Our results revealed that the accumulation of SSPs is time-dependent and tissue-specific, and only 105 days after pollination (DAP), did individual components of SSPs synthesize substantially, and accumulate rapidly in large quantities over a short period of time. Our results suggest that a 36 kD protein is the precursor of olive SSPs, and 90–105 DAP seems to be a crucial transition period (from a precursor to mature subunits) for the accumulation of SSPs.
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  • College of Life Science, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou 450002, China
  • Departamento de Bioquimica, Biologia Celuler y Molecular de Plantas, Estacion Experimental del Zaidin, CSIC, 18008 Granada, Spain
  • Departamento de Bioquimica, Biologia Celuler y Molecular de Plantas, Estacion Experimental del Zaidin, CSIC, 18008 Granada, Spain
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