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Title: Non-dispersive phloem-protein bodies (NPBs) of Populus trichocarpa consist of a SEOR protein and do not respond to cell wounding and Ca 2+

Differentiating sieve elements in the phloem of angiosperms produce abundant phloem-specific proteins before their protein synthesis machinery is degraded. These P-proteins initially form dense bodies, which disperse into individual filaments when the sieve element matures. In some cases, however, the dense protein agglomerations remain intact and are visible in functional sieve tubes as non-dispersive P-protein bodies, or NPBs. Species exhibiting NPBs are distributed across the entire angiosperm clade. We found that NPBs in the model tree,Populus trichocarpa, resemble the protein bodies described from other species of the order Malpighiales as they all consist of coaligned tubular fibrils bundled in hexagonal symmetry. NPBs of all Malpighiales tested proved unresponsive to sieve tube wounding and Ca2+. TheP. trichocarpaNPBs consisted of a protein encoded by a gene that in the genome database of this species had been annotated as a homolog ofSEOR1(sieve element occlusion-related 1) inArabidopsis. Sequencing of the gene in our plants corroborated this interpretation, and we named the genePtSEOR1. Previously characterized SEOR proteins form irregular masses of P-protein slime in functional sieve tubes. We conclude that a subgroup of these proteins is involved in the formation of NPBs at least in the Malpighiales, and that these protein bodies have no role in rapid wound responses of the sieve tube network.

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Article No. e4665
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National Science Foundation
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