Structural studies of protein deposition in developing legume seeds
A comparative study of storage protein deposition has been made in developing seeds of a range of legumes. Varieties of pisum sativum, vicia faba, vigna unguiculata, and Phaseolus vulgaris have been examined. Particular attention has been paid to: (i) morphological and cytological changes during the course of seed development, (ii) the structural relationship of the developing seed to its maternal tissue with regard to nutrient transport, (iii) the structure of the developing embryo with regard to possible pathways for nutrient transport, (iv) the cytology and ultrastructure of storage protein deposition with the cotyledon leaves. The results illustrate differences in seed coat structure which could influence the rate of nutrient supply during embryo development and features of embryo structure related to nutrient uptake. Evidence is presented which illustrates uniform storage protein deposition throughout the cotyledon parenchyma tissues of the developing legume seeds examined.