Phosphoproteomic analysis of seed maturation in Arabidopsis, rapeseed, and soybean

Plant Physiol. 2012 May;159(1):517-28. doi: 10.1104/pp.111.191700. Epub 2012 Mar 22.


To characterize protein phosphorylation in developing seed, a large-scale, mass spectrometry-based phosphoproteomic study was performed on whole seeds at five sequential stages of development in soybean (Glycine max), rapeseed (Brassica napus), and Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Phosphopeptides were enriched from 0.5 mg of total peptides using a combined strategy of immobilized metal affinity and metal oxide affinity chromatography. Enriched phosphopeptides were analyzed by Orbitrap tandem mass spectrometry and mass spectra mined against cognate genome or cDNA databases in both forward and randomized orientations, the latter to calculate false discovery rate. We identified a total of 2,001 phosphopeptides containing 1,026 unambiguous phosphorylation sites from 956 proteins, with an average false discovery rate of 0.78% for the entire study. The entire data set was uploaded into the Plant Protein Phosphorylation Database (, including all meta-data and annotated spectra. The Plant Protein Phosphorylation Database is a portal for all plant phosphorylation data and allows for homology-based querying of experimentally determined phosphosites. Comparisons with other large-scale phosphoproteomic studies determined that 652 of the phosphoproteins are novel to this study. The unique proteins fall into several Gene Ontology categories, some of which are overrepresented in our study as well as other large-scale phosphoproteomic studies, including metabolic process and RNA binding; other categories are only overrepresented in our study, like embryonic development. This investigation shows the importance of analyzing multiple plants and plant organs to comprehensively map the complete plant phosphoproteome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Arabidopsis / chemistry*
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development
  • Binding Sites
  • Brassica rapa / chemistry*
  • Brassica rapa / genetics
  • Brassica rapa / growth & development
  • Conserved Sequence
  • DNA, Complementary / chemistry
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Databases, Genetic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phosphoproteins / analysis
  • Phosphoproteins / chemistry
  • Phosphoproteins / genetics
  • Phosphorylation
  • Proteome / analysis*
  • Proteome / chemistry
  • Seed Storage Proteins / analysis
  • Seed Storage Proteins / chemistry
  • Seed Storage Proteins / genetics
  • Seeds / chemistry
  • Seeds / genetics
  • Seeds / growth & development*
  • Soybeans / chemistry*
  • Soybeans / genetics
  • Soybeans / growth & development
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Proteome
  • Seed Storage Proteins