Conformational analysis of champedak galactose-binding (CGB) lectin under different urea concentrations was studied in phosphate-buffered saline (pH 7.2) using far-ultraviolet circular dichroism (far-UV CD), tryptophan (Trp) fluorescence and ANS fluorescence. In all cases, CGB lectin displayed a two-step, three-state transition. The first transition (from the native state to the intermediate state) started at ∼2.0 M urea and ended at ∼4.5 M urea, while the second transition (from the intermediate state to the completely denatured state) was characterized by the start- and end-points at ∼5.75 M and ∼7.5 M urea, respectively, when analyzed by the emission maximum of Trp fluorescence. A marked increase in the Trp fluorescence, ANS fluorescence and -CD values at 218 nm (-CD218 nm) represented the first transition, whereas a decrease in these parameters defined the second transition. On the other hand, emission maximum of the Trp fluorescence showed a continuous increase throughout the urea concentration range. Transformation of tetramer into monomer represented the first transition, whereas the second transition reflected the unfolding of monomer. Far-UV CD, Trp fluorescence and ANS fluorescence spectra were used to characterize the native, the intermediate and the completely denatured states of CGB lectin, obtained at 0.0 M, 5.0 M and 9.0 M urea, respectively. The intermediate state was characterized by the presence of higher secondary structures, increased ANS binding as well as increased Trp fluorescence intensity. A gradual decrease in the hemagglutination activity of CGB lectin was observed with increasing urea concentrations, showing complete loss at 4.0 M urea.
Basal stem rot is one of the major diseases of oil palm (Elaies guineensis Jacq.) caused by pathogenic Ganoderma species. Trichoderma and mycorrhizae were proposed to be able to reduce the disease severity. However, their roles in improving oil palm defence system by possibly inducing defence-related genes in the host are not well characterized. To better understand that, transcript profiles of eleven putative defence-related cDNAs in the roots of oil palm inoculated with Trichoderma harzianum T32 and mycorrhizae at different time points were studied. Transcripts encoding putative Bowman-Birk protease inhibitor (EgBBI2) and defensin (EgDFS) increased more than 2 fold in mycorrhizae-treated roots at 6 weeks post inoculation (wpi) compared to those in controls. Transcripts encoding putative dehydrin (EgDHN), glycine-rich RNA binding protein (EgGRRBP), isoflavone reductase (EgIFR), type 2 ribosome inactivating protein (EgT2RIP), and EgDFS increased in the oil palm roots treated with T. harzianum at 6 and/or 12 wpi compared to those in the controls. Some of these genes were also expressed in oil palm roots treated with Ganoderma boninense. This study provides an insight of some defence-related genes induced by Trichoderma and mycorrhizae, and their roles as potential agents to boost the plant defence system.
Pyricularia oryzae (P. oryzae), one of the most devastating fungal pathogens, is the cause of blast disease in rice. Infection with a blast fungus induces biological responses in the host plant that lead to its survival through the termination or suppression of pathogen growth, and metabolite compounds play vital roles in plant interactions with a wide variety of other organisms. Numerous studies have indicated that rice has a multi-layered plant immune system that includes pre-developed (e.g., cell wall and phytoanticipins), constitutive and inducible (phytoalexins) defence barriers against stresses. Significant progress towards understanding the basis of the molecular mechanisms underlying the defence responses of rice to P. oryzae has been achieved. Nonetheless, even though the important metabolites in the responses of rice to pathogens have been identified, their exact mechanisms and their contributions to plant immunity against blast fungi have not been elucidated. The purpose of this review is to summarize and discuss recent advances towards the understanding of the integrated metabolite variations in rice after P. oryzae invasion.
The present study represents the first report of the effect of hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) on the growth, development and quality of the wax apple fruit, a widely cultivated fruit tree in South East Asia. The wax apple trees were spray treated with 0, 5, 20 and 50 mM H(2)O(2) under field conditions. Photosynthetic rates, stomatal conductance, transpiration, chlorophyll and dry matter content of the leaves and total soluble solids and total sugar content of the fruits of wax apple (Syzygium samarangense, var. jambu madu) were significantly increased after treatment with 5 mM H(2)O(2). The application of 20 mM H(2)O(2) significantly reduced bud drop and enhanced fruit growth, resulting in larger fruit size, increased fruit set, fruit number, fruit biomass and yield compared to the control. In addition, the endogenous level of H(2)O(2) in wax apple leaves increased significantly with H(2)O(2) treatments. With regard to fruit quality, 20 mM H(2)O(2) treatment increased the K(+), anthocyanin and carotene contents of the fruits by 65%, 67%, and 41%, respectively. In addition, higher flavonoid, phenol and soluble protein content, sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS), phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) and antioxidant activities were recorded in the treated fruits. There was a positive correlation between peel colour (hue) and TSS, between net photosynthesis and SPS activity and between phenol and flavonoid content with antioxidant activity in H(2)O(2)-treated fruits. It is concluded that spraying with 5 and 20 mM H(2)O(2) once a week produced better fruit growth, maximising the yield and quality of wax apple fruits under field conditions.
The natural rubber of Para rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis, is the main crop involved in industrial rubber production due to its superior quality. The Hevea bark is commercially exploited to obtain latex, which is produced from the articulated secondary laticifer. The laticifer is well defined in the aspect of morphology; however, only some genes associated with its development have been reported. We successfully induced secondary laticifer in the jasmonic acid (JA)-treated and linolenic acid (LA)-treated Hevea bark but secondary laticifer is not observed in the ethephon (ET)-treated and untreated Hevea bark. In this study, we analysed 27,195 gene models using NimbleGen microarrays based on the Hevea draft genome. 491 filtered differentially expressed (FDE) transcripts that are common to both JA- and LA-treated bark samples but not ET-treated bark samples were identified. In the Eukaryotic Orthologous Group (KOG) analysis, 491 FDE transcripts belong to different functional categories that reflect the diverse processes and pathways involved in laticifer differentiation. In the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) and KOG analysis, the profile of the FDE transcripts suggest that JA- and LA-treated bark samples have a sufficient molecular basis for secondary laticifer differentiation, especially regarding secondary metabolites metabolism. FDE genes in this category are from the cytochrome (CYP) P450 family, ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter family, short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase (SDR) family, or cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD) family. The data includes many genes involved in cell division, cell wall synthesis, and cell differentiation. The most abundant transcript in FDE list was SDR65C, reflecting its importance in laticifer differentiation. Using the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) as part of annotation and functional prediction, several characterised as well as uncharacterized transcription factors and genes were found in the dataset. Hence, the further characterization of these genes is necessary to unveil their role in laticifer differentiation. This study provides a platform for the further characterization and identification of the key genes involved in secondary laticifer differentiation.
The identification of plant metabolites is very important for the understanding of plant physiology including plant growth, development and defense mechanism, particularly for herbal medicinal plants. The metabolite profile could possibly be used for future drug discovery since the pharmacological activities of the indigenous herbs have been proven for centuries. An untargeted mass spectrometric approach was used to identify metabolites from the leaves and stems of Impatiens balsamina using LC-DAD-MS/MS. The putative compounds are mostly from the groups of phenolic, organic and amino acids which are essential for plant growth and as intermediates for other compounds. Alanine appeared to be the main amino acid in the plant because many alanine derived metabolites were detected. There are also several secondary metabolites from the groups of benzopyrones, benzofuranones, naphthoquinones, alkaloids and flavonoids. The widely reported bioactive components such as kaempferol, quercetin and their glycosylated, lawsone and its derivatives were detected in this study. The results also revealed that aqueous methanol could extract flavonoids better than water, and mostly, flavonoids were detected from the leaf samples. The score plots of component analysis show that there is a minor variance in the metabolite profiles of water and aqueous methanolic extracts with 21.5 and 30.5% of the total variance for the first principal component at the positive and negative ion modes, respectively.
The potential significance of the previously reported papaya (Carica papaya L.) beta-galactosidase/galactanase (beta-d-galactoside galactohydrolase; EC 22.214.171.124) isoforms, beta-gal I, II and III, as softening enzymes during ripening was evaluated for hydrolysis of pectins while still structurally attached to unripe fruit cell wall, and hemicelluloses that were already solubilized in 4 M alkali. The enzymes were capable of differentially hydrolyzing the cell wall as evidenced by increased pectin solubility, pectin depolymerization, and degradation of the alkali-soluble hemicelluloses (ASH). This enzyme catalyzed in vitro changes to the cell walls reflecting in part the changes that occur in situ during ripening. beta-Galactosidase II was most effective in hydrolyzing pectin, followed by beta-gal III and I. The reverse appeared to be true with respect to the hemicelluloses. Hemicellulose, which was already released from any architectural constraints, seemed to be hydrolyzed more extensively than the pectins. The ability of the beta-galactanases to markedly hydrolyze pectin and hemicellulose suggests that galactans provide a structural cross-linkage between the cell wall components. Collectively, the results support the case for a functional relevance of the papaya enzymes in softening related changes during ripening.
We have characterized an oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) constitutive promoter that is derived from a translationally control tumor protein (TCTP) gene. The TCTP promoter was fused transcriptionally with the gusA reporter gene and transferred to monocot and dicot systems in order to study its regulatory role in a transient expression study. It was found that the 5' region of TCTP was capable of driving the gusA expression in all the oil palm tissues tested, including immature embryo, embryogenic callus, embryoid, young leaflet from mature palm, green leaf, mesocarp and stem. It could also be used in dicot systems as it was also capable of driving gusA expression in tobacco leaves. The results indicate that the TCTP promoter could be used for the production of recombinant proteins that require constitutive expression in the plant system.
Understanding the mechanism of interaction between the oil palm and its key pathogen, Ganoderma spp. is crucial as the disease caused by this fungal pathogen leads to a major loss of revenue in leading palm oil producing countries in Southeast Asia. Here in this study, we assess the morphological and biochemical changes in Ganoderma disease infected oil palm seedling roots in both resistant and susceptible progenies. Rubber woodblocks fully colonized by G. boninense were applied as a source of inoculum to artificially infect the roots of resistant and susceptible oil palm progenies. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to measure an array of plant metabolites in 100 resistant and susceptible oil palm seedling roots treated with pathogenic Ganoderma boninense fungus. Statistical effects, univariate and multivariate analyses were used to identify key-Ganoderma disease associated metabolic agitations in both resistant and susceptible oil palm root tissues. Ganoderma disease related defense shifts were characterized based on (i) increased antifungal activity in crude extracts, (ii) increased lipid levels, beta- and gamma-sitosterol particularly in the resistant progeny, (iii) detection of heterocyclic aromatic organic compounds, benzo [h] quinoline, pyridine, pyrimidine (iv) elevation in antioxidants, alpha- and beta-tocopherol (iv) degraded cortical cell wall layers, possibly resulting from fungal hydrolytic enzyme activity needed for initial penetration. The present study suggested that plant metabolites mainly lipids and heterocyclic aromatic organic metabolites could be potentially involved in early oil palm defense mechanism against G. boninense infection, which may also highlight biomarkers for disease detection, treatment, development of resistant variety and monitoring.
Dehydration-responsive element binding (DREB) transcription factor plays an important role in controlling the expression of abiotic stress responsive genes. An intronless oil palm EgDREB1 was isolated and confirmed to be a nuclear localized protein. Electrophoretic mobility shift and yeast one-hybrid assays validated its ability to interact with DRE/CRT motif. Its close evolutionary relation to the dicot NtDREB2 suggests a universal regulatory role. In order to determine its involvement in abiotic stress response, functional characterization was performed in oil palm seedlings subjected to different levels of drought severity and in EgDREB1 transgenic tomato seedlings treated by abiotic stresses. Its expression in roots and leaves was compared with several antioxidant genes using quantitative real-time PCR. Early accumulation of EgDREB1 in oil palm roots under mild drought suggests possible involvement in the initiation of signaling communication from root to shoot. Ectopic expression of EgDREB1 in T1 transgenic tomato seedlings enhanced expression of DRE/CRT and non-DRE/CRT containing genes, including tomato peroxidase (LePOD), ascorbate peroxidase (LeAPX), catalase (LeCAT), superoxide dismutase (LeSOD), glutathione reductase (LeGR), glutathione peroxidase (LeGP), heat shock protein 70 (LeHSP70), late embryogenesis abundant (LeLEA), metallothionine type 2 (LeMET2), delta 1-pyrroline-5- carboxylate synthetase (LePCS), ABA-aldehyde oxidase (LeAAO) and 9-cis- Epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase (LeECD) under PEG treatment and cold stress (4 °C). Altogether, these findings suggest that EgDREB1 is a functional regulator in enhancing tolerance to drought and cold stress.
Geraniol degradation pathway has long been elucidated in microorganisms through bioconversion studies, yet weakly characterised in plants; enzyme with specific nerol-oxidising activity has not been reported. A novel cDNA encodes nerol dehydrogenase (PmNeDH) was isolated from Persicaria minor. The recombinant PmNeDH (rPmNeDH) is a homodimeric enzyme that belongs to MDR (medium-chain dehydrogenases/reductases) superfamily that catalyses the first oxidative step of geraniol degradation pathway in citral biosynthesis. Kinetic analysis revealed that rPmNeDH has a high specificity for allylic primary alcohols with backbone ≤10 carbons. rPmNeDH has ∼3 fold higher affinity towards nerol (cis-3,7-dimethyl-2,6-octadien-1-ol) than its trans-isomer, geraniol. To our knowledge, this is the first alcohol dehydrogenase with higher preference towards nerol, suggesting that nerol can be effective substrate for citral biosynthesis in P. minor. The rPmNeDH crystal structure (1.54 Å) showed high similarity with enzyme structures from MDR superfamily. Structure guided mutation was conducted to describe the relationships between substrate specificity and residue substitutions in the active site. Kinetics analyses of wild-type rPmNeDH and several active site mutants demonstrated that the substrate specificity of rPmNeDH can be altered by changing any selected active site residues (Asp280, Leu294 and Ala303). Interestingly, the L294F, A303F and A303G mutants were able to revamp the substrate preference towards geraniol. Furthermore, mutant that exhibited a broader substrate range was also obtained. This study demonstrates that P. minor may have evolved to contain enzyme that optimally recognise cis-configured nerol as substrate. rPmNeDH structure provides new insights into the substrate specificity and active site plasticity in MDR superfamily.
Oil palm is grown in tropical soils with low bioavailability of Pi. A cDNA clone specifically expressed under phosphate-starvation condition in oil palm roots was identified as a high-affinity phosphate transporter (EgPHT1). The deduced amino acid sequence has 6 transmembrane domains each at the N- and C-termini separated by a hydrophilic linker. Comparison of promoter motifs within 1500 bp upstream of ATG of 10 promoters from high- and low-affinity phosphate transporter from both dicots and monocots including EgPHT1 was performed. The EgPHT1 promoter was fused to β-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene and its activity was analysed by histochemical and fluorometric GUS assays in transiently transformed oil palm tissues and T3 homozygous transgenic Arabidopsis plants. In response to Pi-starvation, no GUS activity was detected in oil palm leaves, but a strong inducible activity was observed in the roots (1.4 times higher than the CaMV35S promoter). GUS was specifically expressed in transgenic Arabidopsis roots under Pi deficiency and starvation of the other macronutrients (N and K) did not induce GUS activity. Eight motifs including ABRERATCAL (abscisic-acid responsive), RHERPATEXPA7 (root hair-specific), SURECOREATSULTR11 (sulfur-deficiency response), LTRECOREATCOR15 (temperature-stress response), MYB2CONSENSUSAT and ACGTATERD1 (water-stress response) as well as two novel motifs, 3 (TAAAAAAA) and 26 (TTTTATGT) identified through pattern discovery, occur at significantly higher frequency (p