Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Spatio-temporal transcriptome and storage compound profiles of developing faba bean (Vicia faba) seed tissues

Ohm, Hannah; Saripella, Ganapathi Varma; Hofvander, Per; Grimberg, Asa


Faba bean (Vicia faba) is a legume grown in diverse climate zones with a high potential for increased cultivation and use in food due to its nutritional seeds. In this study, we characterized seed tissue development in faba bean to identify key developmental processes; from embryo expansion at the expense of the endosperm to the maturing storage stages of the bean seed. A spatio-temporal transcriptome profiling analysis, combined with chemical nutrient analysis of protein, starch, and lipid, of endosperm and embryo tissues at different developmental stages, revealed gene expression patterns, transcriptional networks, and biochemical pathways in faba bean. We identified key players in the LAFL (LEC1, ABI3, FUS3, and LEC2) transcription factor network as well as their major repressors VAL1 and ASIL1. Our results showed that proteins accumulated not only in the embryo but also in the endosperm. Starch accumulated throughout seed development and oil content increased during seed development but at very low levels. The patterns of differentially expressed transcripts encoding proteins with functions in the corresponding metabolic pathways for the synthesis of these storage compounds, to a high extent, aligned with these findings. However, the early expression of transcripts encoding WRI1 combined with the late expression of oil body proteins indicated a not manifested high potential for lipid biosynthesis and oil storage. Altogether, this study contributes to increased knowledge regarding seed developmental processes applicable to future breeding methods and seed quality improvement for faba bean.


Vicia faba; seed development; seed storage proteins (SSP); RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq); transcription factor (TF)

Published in

Frontiers in Plant Science
2024, Volume: 15, article number: 1284997