A strategy to investigate the plant meiotic proteome

Eugenio Sanchez-Moran, Raphael Mercier, James Higgins, Susan Armstrong, Gareth Jones, Frederick Franklin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The analysis of meiosis in higher plants has benefited considerably in recent years from the completion of the genome sequence of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and the development of cytological techniques for this species. A combination of forward and reverse genetics has provided important routes toward the identification of meiotic genes in Arabidopsis. Nevertheless identification of certain meiotic genes remains a challenge due to problems such as limited sequence conservation between species, existence of closely related gene families and in some cases functional redundancy between gene family members. Hence there is a requirement to develop new experimental approaches that can be used in conjunction with existing methods to enable a greater range of plant meiotic genes to be identified. As one potential route towards this goal we have initiated a proteomics-based approach. Unfortunately, the small size of Arabidopsis anthers makes an analysis in this species technically very difficult. Therefore we have initially focussed on Brassica oleracea which is closely related to Arabidopsis, but has the advantage of possessing significantly larger anthers. The basic strategy has been to use peptide mass-finger printing and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time of flight mass spectrometry to analyse proteins expressed in meiocytes during prophase I of meiosis. Initial experiments based on the analysis of proteins from staged anther tissue proved disappointing due to the low level of detection of proteins associated with meiosis. However, by extruding meiocytes in early prophase I from individual anthers prior to analysis a significant enrichment of meiotic proteins has been achieved. Analysis suggests that at least 18% of the proteins identified by this route have a putative meiotic function and that this figure could be as high as one-third of the total. Approaches to increase the enrichment of proteins involved in meiotic recombination and chromosome synapsis are also described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-189
Number of pages9
JournalCytogenetic and Genome Research
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel.


  • Brassica/cytology
  • Cell Nucleus/genetics
  • Flowers/cytology
  • Meiosis
  • Plant Proteins/genetics
  • Plants/genetics
  • Proteome


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