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VIEW ARTICLE   |    DOI: 10.1094/MPMI-3-252

Analysis of Acidic and Basic Chitinases from Tobacco and Petunia and Their Constitutive Expression in Transgenic Tobacco. Huub J. M. Linthorst. Department of Biochemistry, Gorlaeus Laboratories, Leiden University, 2333 CC Leiden. L. C. van Loon(1), Clemens M. A. van Rossum(1), Andreas Mayer(1), John F. Bol(1), Jeroen S. C. van Roekel(2), E. Josien S. Meulenhoff(2), and Ben J. C. Cornelissen(2). (1)Department of Biochemistry, Gorlaeus Laboratories, Leiden University, 2333 CC Leiden, and (2)MOGEN International N. V., 2333 CB Leiden, The Netherlands. MPMI 3:252-258. Accepted 5 March 1990. Copyright 1990 The American Phytopathological Society.

cDNA clones of messenger RNAs for acidic and basic chitinases were isolated from libraries of tobacco mosaic virus-infected Samsun NN tobacco and petunia. The tobacco cDNA clones for acidic chitinase fell into two different groups, whereas all petunia cDNA clones had the same sequence. Also, tobacco genomic clones were isolated and one was characterized. This genomic clone, corresponding to one of the cDNA clones, showed that this acidic chitinase gene contains two introns. The amino acid sequences of the acidic chitinases from tobacco, as deduced from the cDNA clones, fully agreed with partial sequences derived from peptides obtained from purified tobacco-derived pathogenesis-related proteins PR-P and PR-Q. The deduced amino acid sequences showed that PR-P and PR-Q are 93 and 78%, respectively, identical to the petunia enzyme. All deduced chitinase sequences indicated the presence of an NH2-terminal, highly hydrophobic signal peptide. In addition, the polysaccharide-binding domain present at the NH2-terminus of basic chitinases from mature tobacco is not present in these acidic chitinases. Furthermore, the complete coding sequence for the petunia chitinase, constructed downstream of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter, was used to transform tobacco. The resulting chimeric gene was constitutively expressed, and the petunia enzyme was targeted to the extracellular fluid. In contrast, a basic chitinase of tobacco, expressed from a chimeric gene, was found in total leaf extracts but not in preparations of extracellular fluid.

Additional Keywords: extracellular chitinase, Nicotiana tabacum, Petunia X hybrida, protein targeting, vacuolar chitinase.