Ripe fruits of pepper (Capsicum annuum) are resistant to the anthracnose fungus, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, whereas unripe-mature fruits are susceptible. A pepper esterase gene (PepEST) that is highly expressed during an incompatible interaction between the ripe fruit of pepper and C. gloeosporioides was previously cloned. Deduced amino acid sequence of PepEST cDNA showed homology to both esterases and lipases, and contained -HGGGF- and -GXSXG- motifs and a catalytic triad. Inhibition of PepEST activity by a specific inhibitor of serine hydrolase demonstrated that a serine residue is critical for the enzyme activity. Expression of PepEST gene was fruit-specific in response to C. gloeosporioides inoculation, and up-regulated by wounding or jasmonic acid treatment during ripening. PepEST mRNA and protein was differentially accumulated in ripe vs. unripe fruit from 24 h after inoculation when C. gloeosporioides isinvading into fruits. Immunochemical examination revealed that PepEST accumulation was localized inepidermal and cortical cell layers in infected ripe fruit, but rarely even in epidermal cells in infected unripe one. Over-expression of PepEST in transgenic Arabidopsis plants caused restriction of Alternaria brassicicola colonization by inhibition of spore production, resulting in enhanced resistance against A.brassicicola. These results suggest that PepEST is involved in the resistance of ripe fruit against C.gloeosporioides infection.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: May 10, 2005
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