In clubroot disease, gall formation is induced by infection with the obligate biotroph Plasmodiophora brassicae, and cell hypertrophy is dependent on increased auxin levels. The enzyme nitrilase is suggested to play an important role in auxin biosynthesis in plants. Here, we investigated the expression of nitrilase genes in clubroot disease in Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L.). We isolated four isogenes of nitrilase (BrNIT1, BrNIT2, BrNIT3, and BrNIT4) from Chinese cabbage. When a BrNIT2-specific probe was used for Northern blot hybridization, enhanced accumulation of a 1.4 kb mRNA and additional shorter transcripts (1.1 kb) were only detected in clubbed roots 25 days postinoculation (dpi) onward. The expression of BrNIT1 was not strongly affected by infection with P. brassicae. BrNIT3 expression was detected in the roots at 10 and 20 dpi, and the expression was less in clubbed roots than in healthy roots at 20 dpi. Analysis of the transcription initiation point of the BrNIT2 gene suggests that 1.1 kb transcripts were generated by alternative transcription initiation between the second intron and the third exon. The sequence from the second intron to half of the third exon (+415 to +1037, 623 bp) had promoter activity in Arabidopsis during clubroot formation. Therefore, our results suggest that transcriptional regulation of BrNIT2 might be involved in auxin overproduction during clubroot development.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 26, 2008
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