Proteomics analysis of flax grown in Chernobyl area suggests limited effect of contaminated environment on seed proteome

Environ Sci Technol. 2010 Sep 15;44(18):6940-6. doi: 10.1021/es100895s.


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 with long-lived radioisotopes including (90)Sr and (137)Cs, the local ecosystem has been able to adapt. To evaluate plant adaptation, seeds of a local flax (Linum usitatissimum) variety Kyivskyi were sown in radio-contaminated and control fields of the Chernobyl region. A total protein fraction was isolated from mature seeds, and analyzed using 2-dimensional electrophoresis combined with tandem-mass spectrometry. Interestingly, growth of the plants in the radio-contaminated environment had little effect on proteome and only 35 protein spots differed in abundance (p-value of ≤0.05) out of 720 protein spots that were quantified for seeds harvested from both radio-contaminated and control fields. Of the 35 differentially abundant spots, 28 proteins were identified using state-of-the-art MS(E) method. Based on the observed changes, the proteome of seeds from plants grown in radio-contaminated soil display minor adjustments to multiple signaling pathways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 14-3-3 Proteins / metabolism
  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Air Pollution, Radioactive / analysis*
  • Base Sequence
  • Betaine / metabolism
  • Chernobyl Nuclear Accident*
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional
  • Environment*
  • Flax / enzymology
  • Flax / genetics
  • Flax / growth & development*
  • Genome, Plant / genetics
  • Glycolysis
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Lipoxygenase / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Proteome / metabolism*
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Radiation, Ionizing
  • Radioactivity
  • Secretory Pathway
  • Seeds / genetics
  • Seeds / metabolism*
  • Soybeans / metabolism


  • 14-3-3 Proteins
  • Plant Proteins
  • Proteome
  • Betaine
  • Lipoxygenase