Comparative proteomics of leaves found at different stem positions of maize seedlings.pdf
To better understand the roles of leaves at different stem positions during plant development, we measured the physiological properties of leaves 1–4 on maize seedling stems, and performed a proteomics study to investigate the differences in protein expression in the four leaves using two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis and tandem mass spectrometry in conjunction with database searching. A total of 167 significantly differentially expressed protein spots were found and identified. Of these, 35% are involved in photosynthesis. By further analysis of the data, we speculated that in leaf 1 the seedling has started to transition from a heterotroph to an autotroph, development of leaf 2 is the time at which the seedling fully transitions from a heterotroph to an autotroph, and leaf maturity was reached only with fully expanded leaves 3 and 4, although there were still some protein expression differences in the two leaves. These results suggest that the different leaves make different contributions to maize seedling growth via modulation of the expression of the photosynthetic proteins. Together, these results provide insight into the roles of the different maize leaves as the plant develops from a heterotroph to an autotroph.