The cuticle is the first defense against pathogens and the second way water is lost in plants. Hydrophobic layers covering aerial plant organs from primary stages of development form cuticle, including major classes of aliphatic wax components and cutin. Extensive research has been conducted to understand cuticle formation mechanisms in plants. However, many questions remain unresolved in the transport of lipid components to form cuticle. Database studies of the Lotus japonicus genome have revealed the presence of 24 sequences classified as putative non-specific lipid transfer proteins (nsLTPs), which were classified in seven groups; four groups were selected because of their expression in aerial organs. LjLTP8 forms a cluster with DIR1 in Arabidopsis thaliana while LjLTP6, LjLTP9, and LjLTP10 were grouped as type I LTPs. In silico studies showed a high level of structural conservation, and substrate affinity studies revealed palmitoyl-CoA as the most likely ligand for these LTPs, although the Lyso-Myristoyl Phosphatidyl Choline, Lyso-myristoyl phosphatidyl glycerol, and Lyso-stearyl phosphatidyl choline ligands also showed a high affinity with the proteins. The LjLTP6 and LjLTP10 genes were expressed in both the stems and the leaves under normal conditions and were highly induced during drought stress. LjLTP10 was the most induced gene in shoots during drought. The gene was only expressed in the epidermal cells of stems, primordial leaves, and young leaflets. LjLTP10 was positively regulated by MeJA but repressed by abscisic acid (ABA), ethylene, and H2O2, while LjLTP6 was weakly induced by MeJA, repressed by H2O2, and not affected by ABA and ethylene. We suggest that LjLTP10 is involved in plant development of stem and leaf cuticle, but also in acclimation to tolerate drought stress in L. japonicus.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 4, 2013
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