Proteomic analysis of metabolic mechanisms associated with fatty acid biosynthesis during Styrax tonkinensis kernel development

Wu, Qikui, et al. “Proteomic Analysis of Metabolic Mechanisms Associated with Fatty Acid Biosynthesis during Styrax Tonkinensis Kernel Development.” Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Wiley, Apr. 2021. Crossref, doi:10.1002/jsfa.11262.



Styrax tonkinensis is a white-flowered tree with considerable potential as a feedstock source for biodiesel production from the oily seed contained within its nutlike drupes. Transcriptome changes during oil accumulation have been previously reported, but not concurrent changes in the proteome.


Using proteomic analysis of samples collected at 50, 70, 100 and 130 days after flowering (DAF), we identified 1472 differentially expressed proteins (DEPs). Based on their expression patterns, we grouped the DEPs into nine clusters and analyzed the pathway enrichment. Proteins related to starch and sucrose metabolism were most abundant at 50 DAF. Proteins involved in fatty acid (FA) biosynthesis were mainly grouped into a cluster that peaked at 70 DAF. Proteins related to protein processing in endoplasmic reticulum had two major patterns, trending either upwards or downwards, while proteins involved in amino acid biosynthesis showed more complex relationships. We identified 42 key enzymes involved in lipid accumulation during kernel development, including the acetyl-CoA carboxylase complex (ACC) and the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC). One oil body membrane protein, oleosin, continuously increased during kernel development.


A regulatory network of oil accumulation processes was built based on protein and available transcriptome expression data, which were in good temporal agreement. This analysis placed ACC and PDC in the center of the network, suggesting that the glycolytic provision of substrate plays a central regulatory role in FA biosynthesis and oil accumulation.