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Osmotin and Thaumatin from Grape: A Putative General Defense Mechanism Against Pathogenic Fungi

December 2003 , Volume 93 , Number  12
Pages  1,505 - 1,512

Sara Monteiro , Mahmoud Barakat , Maria A. Piçarra-Pereira , Artur R. Teixeira , and Ricardo B. Ferreira

First to fifth authors:Departamento de Botânica e Engenharia Biológica, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal; first and fifth authors: Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Apartado 127, 2781-901 Oeiras, Portugal; and third author: Escola Superior Agrária, Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco, 6001-909 Castelo Branco, Portugal

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Accepted for publication 3 July 2003.

Little information is available concerning the expression of pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins in grapevine (Vitis vinifera) and their effect properties on the major fungal pathogens of grape. A systematic study was performed on the effect of total or individual grape proteins on mycelial growth, spore germination, and germ tube growth of Uncinula necator, Phomopsis viticola, and Botrytis cinerea. Two proteins, identified as PR proteins by immunological methods and by N-terminal sequencing as osmotin and thaumatin-like protein, exhibited strong antifungal activities in vitro, blocking the growth of Phomopsis viticola and Botrytis cinerea mycelia. In addition, they inhibited spore germination and germ tube growth of U. necator, Phomopsis viticola, and Botrytis cinerea. The presence of both proteins displayed a synergistic effect. The expression of osmotin and thaumatin-like protein was induced in grapevine leaves and berries infected with U. necator and Phomopsis viticola. Thaumatin previously was thought to occur exclusively in berries. Immunoblot analyses revealed the accumulation of the two PR proteins in infected leaves and berries, supporting a role in vivo in increasing the resistance of grapevine to fungal attack.

© 2003 The American Phytopathological Society