Tobacco plants secrete a limited array of proteins (nectarins) into their floral nectar. N-terminal sequencing of the Nectarin II (NEC2; 35kD) and the Nectarin III (NEC3; 40kD) proteins revealed that they both share identity with dioscorin, the major soluble protein of yam tubers. These sequences also revealed that NEC2 is a breakdown product of NEC3. Using these N-terminal peptide sequences, degenerate oligonucleotides were designed that permitted the isolation of a partial NEC3 cDNA. This cDNA was then used to probe a nectary specific cDNA library and a full-length NEC3 cDNA clone was isolated. Complete sequence analysis confirmed the identity of NEC3 as a dioscorin-like protein. MALDI-TOF mass spectrometric fingerprinting of tryptic peptides derived from the purified NEC3 confirmed that this protein was encoded by the isolated cDNA. NEC3 was shown to possess both carbonic anhydrase and monodehydroascorbate reductase activities. RT-PCR based expression analyses demonstrated that NEC3 transcript is expressed throughout nectary development as well as in other floral organs. A proposed function in the maintenance of pH and oxidative balance in nectar is discussed.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 10, 2004
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