Unravelling the nutriproteomics of chickpea (Cicer arietinum) seeds

Catarina Marinho, Michael Freitas, Hugo M. Santos, David Oppolzer, Gilberto Igrejas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is an essential grain for human consumption owing to its high protein content, nutritional quality and energy-efficient production. The aim of this study was to compare the protein extracts of 24 chickpea genotypes by biochemically characterising the storage proteins. The storage protein content was characterised by protein separation with polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and visualisation of the banding patterns, which revealed considerable genetic variability within and between genotypes in this chickpea collection. High performance liquid chromatography showed that all genotypes had balanced amino acid content and some were rich in seven amino acids. Two chickpea genotypes, Flip97-171C and Elite, representative of the kabuli and desi types, respectively, were chosen for total proteome analysis. Two-dimensional electrophoresis and subsequent mass spectrometry were used to identify 454 protein spots from the Flip97-171C and Elite proteomes. By using Mascot Server software, 37% of the spots were identified as 47 different proteins involved in a large range of metabolic functions. Most proteins from both proteomes were assigned to nutritional storage activity. Chickpea proteome analysis is essential in reaffirming the quality of this grain protein for human nutrition, and will be important in future nutriproteomics and plant-breeding studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1051
Number of pages11
JournalCrop and Pasture Science
Issue number10-11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • seed proteins
  • two-dimensional electrophoresis.

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