Forisomes are specialized structural phloem proteins that mediate sieve element occlusion after wounding exclusively in papilionoid legumes, but most studies of their structure and function have focused on the Old World clade rather than the early lineages. Müller et al. combine sequence analysis and bioinformatics with structural and functional analysis of native forisomes and artificial forisome-like protein bodies, the latter produced by expressing forisome genes from different legumes in a heterologous background. They conclude that forisome structure and function have been strongly conserved during evolution and that species-dependent subsets of SEO-F proteins may have evolved to fine-tune the structure of native forisomes.
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