During pepper (Capsicum annuum) fruit ripening, the ripe fruit interaction with the anthracnose fungus, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, is generally incompatible. However, the unripe fruit can interact compatibly with the fungus. A gene, designated PepTLP (for pepper thaumatin-like protein), was isolated and characterized by using mRNA differential display. The PepTLP gene encodes a protein homologous to other thaumatin-like proteins and contains 16 conserved cysteine residues and the consensus pattern of thaumatin. PepTLP gene expression is developmentally regulated during ripening. The accumulation of PepTLP mRNA and PepTLP protein in the incompatible interaction was higher than that in the compatible one. Furthermore, PepTLP gene expression was stimulated by both jasmonic acid treatment and wounding during ripening, but by wounding only in the unripe fruit. Immunolocalization studies showed that it is localized to the intercellular spaces among cortical cells. The expression of the PepTLP gene upon fungal infection was a rise from the early-breaker fruit. The development of anthracnose became significantly prevented with beginning of fruit ripening, and the sum total of sugar accumulation increased. The results suggest that the PepTLP gene can be used as a molecular marker in probing for disease resistance, ripening, and sugar accumulation in nonclimacteric pepper fruits.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2004
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