A cDNA encoding polygalacturonase-inhibiting protein (PGIP) from mature apple fruit has been cloned and characterized. The open reading frame encodes a polypeptide of 330 amino acids, in which 24 amino acids at the N-terminus comprise the signal peptide. Apple PGIP contains 10 imperfect leucine-rich repeat sequence motifs averaging 24 amino acids in length. In addition to the 1.3 kb PGIP transcript, the cloned cDNA also hybridized to RNA molecules with sizes of 3.2 and 5.0 kb. Genomic DNA analysis revealed that the apple PGIP probably belongs to a small family of genes. PGIP transcript levels varied in fruit collected at different maturities, suggesting the gene is developmentally regulated. Very high PGIP transcript levels were detected in decayed areas and the tissue adjacent to the inoculation sites of Penicillium expansum and Botrytis cinerea. However, no increase in the amount of PGIP transcript in tissue distant from the decayed region was observed. Wounding on fruit also induced PGIP gene expression but to a much lessser extent when compared with decayed areas. After storage at 0 °C for 1 month, the abundance of PGIP transcript in ripe fruit was substantially increased. The PGIP gene in immature and ripe fruit was rapidly up-regulated by fungal infections, while in stored fruit the induction was very limited and concurred with an increase of fruit susceptibility to fungal colonization. Since PGIP gene expression is regulated by fruit development and responds to wounding, fungal infection and cold storage, these observations suggest that apple PGIP may have multiple roles during fruit development and stress response.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 29, 2004
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