Seed stored mRNAs that are specifically associated to monosome are translationally regulated during germination

Bai, Bing; Horst, Sjors Van Der; Cordewener, Jan; America, Twan; Hanson, Johannes; Bentsink, Leónie


The life cycle of many organisms includes a quiescent stage, such as bacterial or fungal spores, insect larvae, or plant seeds. Common to these stages is their low water content and high survivability during harsh conditions. Upon rehydration, organisms need to reactivate metabolism and protein synthesis. Plant seeds contain many mRNAs that are transcribed during seed development. Translation of these mRNAs occurs during early seed germination, even before the requirement of transcription. Therefore, stored mRNAs are postulated to be important for germination. How these mRNAs are stored and protected during long-term storage is unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate how mRNAs are stored in dry seeds and whether they are indeed translated during seed germination. We investigated seed polysome profiles and the mRNAs and protein complexes that are associated with these ribosomes in seeds of the model organism Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). We showed that most stored mRNAs are associated with monosomes in dry seeds; therefore, we focus on monosomes in this study. Seed ribosome complexes are associated with mRNA-binding proteins, stress granule (SG), and P-body proteins, which suggests regulated packing of seed mRNAs. Interestingly, approximately 17% of the mRNAs that are specifically associated with monosomes are translationally up-regulated during seed germination. These mRNAs are transcribed during seed maturation, suggesting a role for this developmental stage in determining the translational fate of mRNAs during early germination