Coregulation of soybean vegetative storage protein gene expression by methyl jasmonate and soluble sugars

Hugh S. Mason, Daryll B. DeWald, Robert A. Creelman, John E. Mullet

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99 Scopus citations


The soybean vegetative storage protein genes vspA and vspB are highly expressed in developing leaves, stems, flowers, and pods as compared with roots, seeds, and mature leaves and stems. In this paper, we report that physiological levels of methyl jasmonate (MeJA) and soluble sugars synergistically stimulate accumulation of vsp mRNAs. Treatment of excised mature soybean (Glycine max Merr. cv Williams) leaves with 0.2 molar sucrose and 10 micromolar MeJA caused a large accumulation of vsp mRNAs, whereas little accumulation occurred when these compounds were supplied separately. In soybean cell suspension cultures, the synergistic effect of sucrose and MeJA on the accumulation of vspB mRNA was maximal at 58 millimolar sucrose and was observed with fructose or glucose substituted for sucrose. In dark-grown soybean seedlings, the highest levels of vsp mRNAs occurred in the hypocotyl hook, which also contained high levels of MeJA and soluble sugars. Lower levels of vsp mRNAs, MeJA, and soluble sugars were found in the cotyledons, roots, and nongrowing regions of the stem. Wounding of mature soybean leaves induced a large accumulation of vsp mRNAs when wounded plants were incubated in the light. Wounded plants kept in the dark or illuminated plants sprayed with dichlorophenyldimethylurea, an inhibitor of photosynthetic electron transport, showed a greatly reduced accumulation of vsp mRNAs. The time courses for the accumulation of vsp mRNAs induced by wounding or sucrose/MeJA treatment were similar. These results strongly suggest that vsp expression is coregulated by endogenous levels of MeJA (or jasmonic acid) and soluble carbohydrate during normal vegetative development and in wounded leaves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)859-867
Number of pages9
JournalPlant Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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