Analysis of protein transport in the Brassica oleracea vasculature reveals protein-specific destinations. Academic Article uri icon


  • We investigated the vascular transport properties of exogenously applied proteins to Brassica oleracea plants and compared their delivery to various aerial parts of the plant with carboxy fluorescein (CF) dye. We identified unique properties for each protein. Alexafluor-tagged bovine serum albumin (Alexa-BSA) and Alexafluor-tagged Histone H1 (Alexa-Histone) moved slower than CF dye throughout the plant. Interestingly, Alexa-Histone was retained in the phloem and phloem parenchyma while Alexa-BSA moved into the apoplast. One possibility is that Alexa-Histone sufficiently resembles plant endogenous proteins and is retained in the vascular stream, while Alexa-BSA is exported from the cell as a foreign protein. Both proteins diffuse from the leaf veins into the leaf lamina. Alexa-BSA accumulated in the leaf epidermis while Alexa-Histone accumulated mainly in the mesophyll layers. Fluorescein-tagged hepatitis C virus core protein (fluorescein-HCV) was also delivered to B. oleracea plants and is larger than Alexa-BSA. This protein moves more rapidly than BSA through the plant and was restricted to the leaf veins. Fluorescein-HCV failed to unload to the leaf lamina. These combined data suggest that there is not a single default pathway for the vascular transfer of exogenous proteins in B. oleracea plants. Specific protein properties appear to determine their destination and transport properties within the phloem.

published proceedings

  • Plant Signal Behav

author list (cited authors)

  • Niu, C., Anstead, J., & Verchot, J.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Niu, Chenxing||Anstead, James||Verchot, Jeanmarie

publication date

  • March 2012