Plant structure and specificity – Challenges and sample preparation considerations for proteomics

Sophie Alvarez, Michael J. Naldrett

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

10 Scopus citations


Plants are considered as a simple structured organism when compared to humans and other vertebrates. The number of organs and tissue types is very limited. Instead the origin of the complexity comes from the high number and variety of plant species that exist, with >300,000 compared to 5000 in mammals. Proteomics, defined as the large-scale study of the proteins present in a tissue, cell or cellular compartment at a defined time point, was introduced in 1994. However, the first publications reported in the plant proteomics field only appeared at the beginning of the twentyfirst century. Since these early years, the increase of proteomic studies in plants has only followed a linear trend. The main reason for this stems from the challenges specific to studying plants, those of protein extraction from cells with variously strengthened cellulosic cell walls, and a high abundance of interfering compounds, such as phenolic compounds and pigments located in plastids throughout the plant. Indeed, the heterogeneity between different organs and tissue types, between species and different developmental stages, requires the use of optimized plant protein extraction methods as described in this section. The second bottleneck of plant proteomics, which will not be discussed or reviewed here, is the lack of genomic information. Without sequence databases of the >300,000 species, proteomic studies of plants, especially of those that are not considered economically relevant, are impossible to accomplish.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019


  • Green algae and plastids
  • Plant cell lysis
  • Plant meristem and suspension culture cells
  • Plant organs
  • Plant protein extraction
  • Plant proteomics
  • Plant secretome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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