ISSN 10227954, Russian Journal of Genetics, 2011, Vol. 47, No. 7, pp. 813–818. © Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2011.
Original Russian Text © O.V. Chubukova, Al.Kh. Baymiev, An.Kh. Baymiev, 2011, published in Genetika, 2011, Vol. 47, No. 7, pp. 920–926.
Lectins are found in all kingdoms of living organ
isms. They represent a heterogeneous group of pro
teins sharing a common feature of carbohydrate bind
ing. Among the plant lectins, those of the legumes
deserve the greatest interest. This interest is explained
by the extreme importance of the biological nitrogen
fixation process, realized by nodule bacteria in symbi
osis with leguminous plants. Numerous studies
showed that lectins, first isolated from the seeds of
leguminous plants, play the crucial role in the devel
opment of legume–rhizobium symbiosis.
It is known that legume lectins are characterized by
wide spectrum of carbohydrate specificity upon remark
able homology of their primary and tertiary structures
. In a number of studies it was demonstrated that the
structure of carbohydratebinding sequences (CBS) of
legume lectins determined their specificity to carbohy
drates, and probably, the host plant specificity relative to
the rhizobium partner [4–6].
In the literature, the cases of a single plant containing
isolectins, and even lectins with different carbohydrate
specificity have been described. Such phenomenon is
usually typical of shrubs and trees (where in addition to
seeds, lectins are found in the bark), and some herba
ceous plants [7, 8]. For instance, in the seeds of tufted
) two lectins were found, one spe
cific to mannose/glucose, and the other, to Nacetylglu
cosamine [9, 10]. The presence of a number of different
lectins in a single plant may be explained either by the dif
ferences in posttranslational protein modification, or by
the presence of a set of nonallelic lectincoding genes in
the genome. Because of this, studies of lectins in the
members of another genus of legume plants, belonging to
the same economically important tribe Fabae deserves
(vetchling) is the largest in the
tribe Fabae. It comprises more than 170 species of
wildgrowing and cultivated plant species, which are
distributed in temperate climate regions of northern
hemisphere, South America, Northwest Africa, the
Mediterranean, Russian Far East, and China.
Vetchling can be grown as forage, technical, food, and
ornamental culture. It is also used as a model organism
in genetic and ecological studies.
The present study was focused on investigation of the
primary structure and comparative analysis of the lectin
CBS in a set of legume plants of the genus
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The experiments were performed using the follow
ing legume species: spring vetchling
(L.) Bernh., march vetchling
DNA was isolated from the herbarium material
(leaves) using the method of Jobes et al. .
PCR was run in a Tertsik thermal cycler (DNKTekh
nologiya, Russia) using standard DNA amplification kits.
DNA samples isolated and amplification products
were analyzed by electrophoresis in 1% agarose gel at
the voltage of 6 V/cm. The DNA fragments were
eluted from agarose gel after preparative electrophore
sis using the DNA purification kit (Tsitokin, Russia).
The amplificates were cloned into the pALTA vector
(Evrogen, Russia). Analysis of recombinant clones
was carried out using the method of rapid alkaline lysis
Polymorphism of Lectin Genes in
O. V. Chubukova, Al. Kh. Baymiev, and An. Kh. Baymiev
Institute of Biochemistry and Genetics, Ufa Scientific Center, Uralian Branch Russian Academy of Sciences, Ufa, 450054 Russia
Received December 27, 2010
—The carbohydratebinding sequences of the lectin genes from spring vetchling
Bernh., marsh vetchling
(L.), and Gmelin’s vetchling
(Fitsch) (Fabaceae) were determined.
Computeraided analysis revealed substantial differences between nucleotide and predicted amino acid sequences
of the lectin gene regions examined in each of the three vetchling species tested. In the phylogenetic trees based on
sequence similarity of carbohydratebiding regions of legume lectins, the sequences examined formed a compact
cluster with the lectin genes of the plants belonging to the tribe Fabeae. In each plant,
L. vernus, L. palustris
, three different lectinencoding genes were detected. Most of the substitutions were identified within the
gene sequence responsible for coding the carbohydratebinding protein regions. This finding may explain different
affinity of these lectins to different carbohydrates, and as a consequence, can affect the plant host specificity upon
development of symbiosis with rhizobium bacteria.