Journal of experimental botany

Developmentally and stress-induced small heat shock proteins in cork oak somatic embryos.

PMID 12021292


The timing and tissue localization of small heat shock proteins (sHSPs) during cork oak somatic embryo development was investigated under normal growing culture conditions and in response to stress. Western blot analyses using polyclonal antibodies raised against cork oak recombinant HSP17 showed a transient accumulation of class I sHSPs during somatic embryo maturation and germination. Moreover, the amount of protein increased at all stages of embryo development in response to exogenous stress. The developmentally accumulated proteins localized to early differentiating, but not the highly dividing, regions of the root and shoot apical meristems. By contrast, these highly dividing regions were strongly immunostained after heat stress. Findings support the hypothesis of a distinct control for developmentally and stress-induced accumulation of class I sHSPs. The possible role of sHSPs is discussed in relation to their tissue specific localization.