A protective role for the embryo surrounding region of the maize endosperm, as evidenced by the characterisation of ZmESR-6, a defensin gene specifically expressed in this region

A protective role for the embryo surrounding region of the maize endosperm, as evidenced by the... A Zea mays cDNA clone, ZmESR-6, was isolated as a gene specifically expressed at the basal region of immature kernels. ZmESR-6 cDNA encoded for a small (11.1 kDa) protein homologous to plant defensins. As for other defensins, the protein contained an N-terminal signal peptide signature and a C-terminal acidic peptide, the mature peptide has a molecular mass of 5.5 kDa. ZmESR-6 was highly expressed in developing kernels but the transcript could not be detected in any other maize tissue. The recombinant ZmESR-6 protein, purified from E. coli, showed strong in vitro inhibitory activity against bacterial and fungal plant pathogens, suggesting a role for ZmESR-6 in plant defence. The distribution of the transcripts was restricted to the embryo surrounding region (ESR) of the kernel. Immunolocalisation experiments revealed, however, that at the grain filling phase ZmESR-6 was accumulated in the placentochalaza-cells, rather than in the ESR cells that produce it. Our results suggest that the ESR has a role in protecting the embryo at the very early stages of seed development, whilst contributes to the general defence mechanism of the kernel at later developmental stages. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Plant Molecular Biology Springer Journals

A protective role for the embryo surrounding region of the maize endosperm, as evidenced by the characterisation of ZmESR-6, a defensin gene specifically expressed in this region

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 by Springer
Subject
Life Sciences; Plant Sciences; Biochemistry, general; Plant Pathology
ISSN
0167-4412
eISSN
1573-5028
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11103-005-3479-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

A Zea mays cDNA clone, ZmESR-6, was isolated as a gene specifically expressed at the basal region of immature kernels. ZmESR-6 cDNA encoded for a small (11.1 kDa) protein homologous to plant defensins. As for other defensins, the protein contained an N-terminal signal peptide signature and a C-terminal acidic peptide, the mature peptide has a molecular mass of 5.5 kDa. ZmESR-6 was highly expressed in developing kernels but the transcript could not be detected in any other maize tissue. The recombinant ZmESR-6 protein, purified from E. coli, showed strong in vitro inhibitory activity against bacterial and fungal plant pathogens, suggesting a role for ZmESR-6 in plant defence. The distribution of the transcripts was restricted to the embryo surrounding region (ESR) of the kernel. Immunolocalisation experiments revealed, however, that at the grain filling phase ZmESR-6 was accumulated in the placentochalaza-cells, rather than in the ESR cells that produce it. Our results suggest that the ESR has a role in protecting the embryo at the very early stages of seed development, whilst contributes to the general defence mechanism of the kernel at later developmental stages.

Journal

Plant Molecular BiologySpringer Journals

Published: Mar 23, 2005

References

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