Seeds comprise a protective covering, a small embryonic plant, and a nutrient-storage organ. Seeds are protein-rich, and have been the subject of many mass spectrometry-based analyses. Seed storage proteins (SSP), which are transient depots for reduced nitrogen, have been studied for decades by cell biologists, and many of the complicated aspects of their processing, assembly, and compartmentation are now well understood. Unfortunately, the abundance and complexity of the SSP requires that they be avoided or removed prior to gel-based analysis of non-SSP. While much of the extant data from MS-based proteomic analysis of seeds is descriptive, it has nevertheless provided a preliminary metabolic picture explaining much of their biology. Contemporary studies are moving more toward analysis of protein interactions and posttranslational modifications, and functions of metabolic networks. Many aspects of the biology of seeds make then an attractive platform for heterologous protein expression. Herein we present a broad review of the results from the proteomic studies of seeds, and speculate on a potential future research directions.
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