Polysomes, Messenger RNA, and Growth in Soybean Stems during Development and Water Deficit. Academic Article uri icon


  • The polysome status and populations of polysomal mRNA were examined in different regions of dark-grown soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merr.) stems that contained either dividing, elongating, or mature (nongrowing) cells. There was a developmental gradient of polysome content in which the dividing tissue had the highest levels and the mature tissue the lowest. A few hours after transplanting the seedlings to vermiculite having low water content (water potential Psi(w) = -0.29 megapascals), stem growth rate decreased to 30% of well-watered controls and the polysome content decreased most in the dividing and elongating tissues. After 24 to 36 hours, stem growth and polysome content recovered gradually. In vitro translation products of polysomal mRNA from dividing, elongating or mature tissue were examined on two-dimensional gels. In well-watered controls, each of the stem regions was enriched in a small subset of the polysomal mRNA population, probably because of developmentally regulated gene expression. Exposing plants to low Psi(w) for 24 hours induced a change in the relative abundance of a small number of polysomal mRNAs in the elongating and mature tissues, but not in the dividing tissue. After 24 to 72 hours at low Psi(w), the changes in polysomal mRNA population were reversed in the elongating tissue. The data indicate that changes in stem growth at low water potential are associated with changes in polysome status and polysomal mRNA in the elongating tissue.

published proceedings

  • Plant Physiol

author list (cited authors)

  • Mason, H. S., Mullet, J. E., & Boyer, J. S.

citation count

  • 56

complete list of authors

  • Mason, HS||Mullet, JE||Boyer, JS

publication date

  • March 1988