The aim of the present study was to perform a genomic analysis of non-specific lipid-transfer proteins (nsLTPs) in coffee. Several nsLTPs-encoding cDNA and gene sequences were cloned from Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora species. In this work, their analyses revealed that coffee nsLTPs belong to Type II LTP characterized under their mature forms by a molecular weight of around 7.3 kDa, a basic isoelectric points of 8.5 and the presence of typical CXC pattern, with X being an hydrophobic residue facing towards the hydrophobic cavity. Even if several single nucleotide polymorphisms were identified in these nsLTP-coding sequences, 3D predictions showed that they do not have a significant impact on protein functions. Northern blot and RT-qPCR experiments revealed specific expression of Type II nsLTPs-encoding genes in coffee fruits, mainly during the early development of endosperm of both C. arabica and C. canephora. As part of our search for tissue-specific promoters in coffee, an nsLTP promoter region of around 1.2 kb was isolated. It contained several DNA repeats including boxes identified as essential for grain specific expression in other plants. The whole fragment, and a series of 5′ deletions, were fused to the reporter gene β-glucuronidase (uidA) and analyzed in transgenic Nicotiana tabacum plants. Histochemical and fluorimetric GUS assays showed that the shorter (345 bp) and medium (827 bp) fragments of nsLTP promoter function as grain-specific promoters in transgenic tobacco plants.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 28, 2014
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