Clustering of microarray data reveals transcript patterns associated with somatic embryogenesis in soybean

Françoise Thibaud-Nissen, Robin T. Shealy, Anupama Khanna, Lila O. Vodkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Globular somatic embryos can be induced from immature cotyledons of soybean (Glycine max L. Merr. cv lack) placed on high levels of the auxin 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). Somatic embryos develop from the adaxial side of the cotyledon, whereas the abaxial side evolves into a callus. Using a 9,280-cDNA clone array, we have compared steady-state RNA from the adaxial side from which embryos develop and from the abaxial callus at five time points over the course of the 4 weeks necessary for the development of globular embryos. In a second set of experiments, we have profiled the expression of each clone in the adaxial side during the same period. A total of 495 genes differentially expressed in at least one of these experiments were grouped according to the similarity of their expression profiles using a nonhierarchical clustering algorithm. Our results indicate that the appearance of somatic embryos is preceded by dedifferentiation of the cotyledon during the first 2 weeks on auxin. Changes in mRNA abundance of genes characteristic of oxidative stress and genes indicative of cell division in the adaxial side of the cotyledons suggest that the arrangement of the new cells into organized structures might depend on a genetically controlled balance between cell proliferation and cell death. Our data also suggest that the formation of somatic globular embryos is accompanied by the transcription of storage proteins and the synthesis of gibberellic acid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-136
Number of pages19
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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