Submitted to: Association for Advancement in Plant Pathology Newsletter
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: March 27, 2008
Publication Date: July 28, 2008
Citation: Natarajan, S.S. 2008. Utility of Proteomic tools for assessing protein expression in soybeans. Association for Advancement in Plant Pathology Newsletter. 3(1)3. Technical Abstract: Soybean is the second most important cash crop in the U.S. with an estimated value of $19.8 billion in 2006. Genetically modified (GM) crops are commonly grown globally to enhance quality, productivity, and disease resistance. Some of the examples are, herbicide resistance (Roundup Ready soybeans), insect resistance (Bt cotton and Bt corn) and virus resistance (potato). Therefore, it is important to determine if any unintended changes occur in the GM crops as a result of genetic modification to ensure the safety of the crop for consumers. In recent years, proteomic technologies have been used as an effective analytical tool for examining modifications of protein profiles to access the bio-safety of GM crops. We have standardized and applied these technologies to determine and quantify the spectrum of proteins present in soybean seed. For a better understanding of the unintended effects in GM soybeans, it is important to determine the natural variation of protein composition both in wild and cultivated soybeans that have been or may be used in conventional soybean breeding programs. We used two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE), matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight (MALDI-TOF), and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) for the separation, quantification, and identification of different classes of soybean seed proteins. We have observed significant variations of different classes of proteins, allergen and anti-nutritional protein profiles between cultivated and wild soybean genotypes. These results can be used to determine if the amounts of allergen and anti-nutritional proteins accumulated in GM soybeans exceed the level of these same proteins that naturally occur in non-GM soybean varieties. This research is important to maintain consumer confidence and acceptability of GM products.