An examination of Job's rule: Protection and repair of the proteins of the translational apparatus in seeds

Lynnette M.A. Dirk, A. Bruce Downie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The proteins produced just prior to maturation desiccation in the developing, orthodox seed, are stored in the desiccated state and recruited as the functional proteome upon imbibition. For the resumption of protein function, these stored proteins must be protected from permanent denaturation while dehydrating, throughout desiccation, and during rehydration. For some forms of damage there is the possibility of repair following imbibition potentially coordinated with de-aggregation into monodispersed polypeptides capable of refolding into a functional configuration. While studying aspects of the natural protection and repair mechanism in seeds, evidence has accrued that those proteins directly involved in translation are particular targets of both protection and protein repair. Such a phenomenon was first described by Rajjou et al. (2008) examining the frequency with which proteins involved in translation were identified as differentially abundant between aged and un-aged Arabidopsis seeds and the translational competence of aged versus un-aged seeds. The inference drawn from these observations was that, of all the stored proteins, it is imperative that those involved in translation endure desiccation, quiescence and rehydration in a functional state if the seed is to survive. Proteins involved in any other process other than translation can be replaced from the stored transcriptome or by de novo transcription but no mRNA is of value without the translational machinery. This has become known as 'Job's rule' in honour of the laboratory from which this hypothesis was first put forward (Rajjou et al., 2008). We review in this manuscript the evidence accrued to date on which Job's rule is based.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-181
Number of pages14
JournalSeed Science Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Cambridge University Press 2018 This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited..


  • Job's rule
  • desiccation
  • pollen
  • protection
  • repair
  • ribosomal protein
  • seed
  • substitution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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