Background: The soybean seed’s physiological maturity (R7) period is an extraordinary period
for the formation of seed vigor. However, how proteins and their related metabolic pathways in
seed and leaf change during seed physiological maturity is still not fully understood.
Methods: In the present study, using a pair of pre-harvest seed deterioration-sensitive and -resistant
soybean cultivars Ningzhen No. 1 and Xiangdou No. 3, the changes were investigated through analyzing
leaf, cotyledon and embryo at the levels of protein, ultrastructure, and physiology and biochemistry.
Results: Soybean cultivars with stronger photosynthetic capacity in leaf, higher nutrients accumulation
and protein biosynthesis in cotyledon, as well as stronger resistant-pathogen ability and cell stability in
embryo during seed physiological maturity, would produce higher vitality seeds.
Conclusion: Such a study allows us to further understand the changes at protein, ultrastructure, and
physiology and biochemistry levels in developing seeds during the physiological maturity and provide
a theoretical basis for cultivating soybean cultivars with higher seed vigor.