Wei-Min Tian and Zheng-Hai Hu

The distribution pattern of vegetative storage proteins is reported for the first time for 18 species and 2 varieties of twelve genera of Rosaceae. Vegetative storage proteins were present in all the species studied of Prunoideae and absent in Maloideae. Their occurrence in a genus seemed to be either universal or entirely absent. Rosaceae trees were poor in vegetative storage proteins and the form of vegetative storage proteins was not protein body-like. Granular and floccular forms of vegetative storage proteins could be distinguished exclusively in the secondary phloem parenchyma cells and their distribution was cell-specific. Our results suggest that the distribution of vegetative storage proteins in Rosaceae can be considered as a taxonomically diagnostic feature. The nature of the bark proteins with seasonal changes in apple trees is discussed.

Wei-Min Tian and Zheng-Hai Hu

The distribution and ultrastructure of vegetative storage proteins in 44 species and one variety of 31 genera of Leguminosae were investigated by light- and electron microscopy and SDS-PAGE. Leguminosae are as a whole a vegetative storage protein-rich family, abundant with vacuolar protein inclusions in deciduous trees while much less so in evergreen trees. Several prominent proteins with molecular weights ranging from 15 to 45 kDa were isolated and identified to be vegetative storage proteins on the basis of their association with vacuolar protein inclusions and seasonal fluctuation. Vacuolar protein inclusions were present in protein body-like organelles in temperate species while localized in large central vacuoles in tropical ones during leafless periods. The inclusions varied in forms among species or in the same species, but the different forms were present in different cells, suggesting that vegetative storage proteins may be cell-type specific to some extent.