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A Polygalacturonase-Inhibiting Protein from Grapevine Reduces the Symptoms of the Endopolygalacturonase BcPG2 from Botrytis cinerea in Nicotiana benthamiana Leaves Without Any Evidence for In Vitro Interaction

April 2007 , Volume 20 , Number  4
Pages  392 - 402

Dirk A. Joubert , 1 Ilona Kars , 2 Lia Wagemakers , 2 Carl Bergmann , 3 Gabré Kemp , 4 Melané A. Vivier , 1 and Jan A. L. van Kan 2

1Institute for Wine Biotechnology, Department of Viticulture and Oenology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, 7600, South Africa; 2Wageningen University, Laboratory of Phytopathology, Binnenhaven 5, 6709 PD Wageningen, The Netherlands; 3Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, University of Georgia, Athens 30602-4712, U.S.A.; 4Department of Plant Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein 9300, South Africa

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Accepted 15 November 2006.

Six endopolygalacturonases from Botrytis cinerea (BcPG1 to BcPG6) as well as mutated forms of BcPG1 and BcPG2 were expressed transiently in leaves of Nicotiana benthamiana using agroinfiltration. Expression of BcPG1, BcPG2, BcPG4, BcPG5, and mutant BcPG1-D203A caused symptoms, whereas BcPG3, BcPG6, and mutant BcPG2-D192A caused no symptoms. Expression of BcPG2 caused the most severe symptoms, including wilting and necrosis. BcPG2 previously has been shown to be essential for B. cinerea virulence. The in vivo effect of this enzyme and the inhibition by a polygalacturonase-inhibiting protein (PGIP) was examined by coexpressing Bcpg2 and the Vvpgip1 gene from Vitis vinifera in N. benthamiana. Coinfiltration resulted in a substantial reduction of the symptoms inflicted by the activity of BcPG2 in planta, as evidenced by quantifying the variable chlorophyll fluorescence yield. In vitro, however, no interaction between pure VvPGIP1 and pure BcPG2 was detected. Specifically, VvPGIP1 neither inhibited BcPG2 activity nor altered the degradation profile of polygalacturonic acid by BcPG2. Furthermore, using surface plasmon resonance technology, no physical interaction between VvPGIP1 and BcPG2 was detected in vitro. The data suggest that the in planta environment provided a context to support the interaction between BcPG2 and VvPGIP1, leading to a reduction in symptom development, whereas neither of the in vitro assays detected any interaction between these proteins.

Additional keywords: in planta interaction, pectinase, transient expression.

© 2007 The American Phytopathological Society