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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Plant Genetics Research

Title: Agricultural recovery of a formerly contaminated area: Establishment of a high-resolution quantitative protein map of mature flax seeds harvested from the remediated chernobyl area

item Miernyk, Jan
item Klubicova, Katarina
item Bercak, Michal
item Danchenko, Maksym
item Skultey, Ludovit
item Rashydov, Namik
item Berezhna, Valentyna
item Hajduch, Martin

Submitted to: Phytochemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/21/2010
Publication Date: 12/6/2010
Citation: Miernyk, J.A., Klubicova, K., Bercak, M., Danchenko, M., Skultey, L., Rashydov, N.M., Berezhna, V.V., Hajduch, M. 2010. Agricultural recovery of a formerly contaminated area: Establishment of a high-resolution quantitative protein map of mature flax seeds harvested from the remediated chernobyl area. Phytochemistry. 72:1308-1315.

Interpretive Summary: The accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (CNPP) on April 26,1986 is the most serious nuclear disaster in human history. Surprisingly, while the area proximal to the CNPP remains substantially contaminated, the local ecosystem has been able to adapt. To evaluate plant adaptation, seeds of a local flax (Linum usitatissimum) variety were sown in radio-contaminated, remediated(soil was replaced), and control fields of the Chernobyl region. A total protein fraction was isolated from mature seeds, and analyzed using chemical techniques. Growth of the plants in the radio-contaminated environment had little effect on the overall population of seed proteins. Only 35 proteins were different in abundance. In the remediated fields there were even fewer differences. Twenty eight of the 35 proteins that were changed in abundance were identified by chemical and genomic methods. The only consistent change observed suggested that the proteins from seeds of plants grown in radio-contaminated soil had minor adjustments to multiple signaling pathways. This information will be useful to scientists in their efforts to improve agricultural crop production and resistance to environmental stresses through both classical breeding and application of biotechnology strategies.

Technical Abstract: In recent years there has been an increasing tendency toward remediation of contaminated areas for agricultural purposes. The study described herein is part of a comprehensive, long-term characterization of crop plants grown in the area formerly contaminated with radioactivity. As a first step, we have established a quantitative map of proteins isolated from mature flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) seeds harvested from plants grown in a remediated plot localized directly in Chernobyl town. Flax was selected because it is a crop of economic and historical importance, despite the relative paucity of molecular resources. We used 2-dimensional electrophoresis followed by tandem mass spectrometry to establish a high-resolution seed proteome map. This approach yielded quantitative information for 318 protein spots. Genomic sequence resources for flax are very limited, leaving us with an "unknown function" annotation for 38% of the proteins analyzed including several that comprise very large spots. In addition to the seed storage proteins, we were able to reliably identify 82 proteins many of which are involved with central metabolism.

Last Modified: 06/24/2017
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