PloS one

Proteomic Characterization of Differential Abundant Proteins Accumulated between Lower and Upper Epidermises of Fleshy Scales in Onion (Allium cepa L.) Bulbs.

PMID 28036352


The onion (Allium cepa L.) is widely planted worldwide as a valuable vegetable crop. The scales of an onion bulb are a modified type of leaf. The one-layer-cell epidermis of onion scales is commonly used as a model experimental material in botany and molecular biology. The lower epidermis (LE) and upper epidermis (UE) of onion scales display obvious differences in microscopic structure, cell differentiation and pigment synthesis; however, associated proteomic differences are unclear. LE and UE can be easily sampled as single-layer-cell tissues for comparative proteomic analysis. In this study, a proteomic approach based on 2-DE and mass spectrometry (MS) was applied to compare LE and UE of fleshy scales from yellow and red onions. We identified 47 differential abundant protein spots (representing 31 unique proteins) between LE and UE in red and yellow onions. These proteins are mainly involved in pigment synthesis, stress response, and cell division. Particularly, the differentially accumulated chalcone-flavanone isomerase and flavone O-methyltransferase 1-like in LE may result in the differences in the onion scale color between red and yellow onions. Moreover, stress-related proteins abundantly accumulated in both LE and UE. In addition, the differential accumulation of UDP-arabinopyranose mutase 1-like protein and β-1,3-glucanase in the LE may be related to the different cell sizes between LE and UE of the two types of onion. The data derived from this study provides new insight into the differences in differentiation and developmental processes between onion epidermises. This study may also make a contribution to onion breeding, such as improving resistances and changing colors.