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β-1,3-Glucanase Activity in Peanut Seed (Arachis hypogaea) is Induced by Inoculation with Aspergillus flavus and Copurifies with a Conglutin-Like Protein

May 2005 , Volume 95 , Number  5
Pages  506 - 511

X. Q. Liang , C. C. Holbrook , R. E. Lynch , and B. Z. Guo

First, third, and fourth authors: U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), Crop protection and Management Research Unit, Tifton, GA 31793; and second author: USDA-ARS, Crop Genetics and Breeding Research Unit, Tifton, GA 31793

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Accepted for publication 13 January 2005.

Infection of peanut (Arachis hypogaea) seed by Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus is a serious problem that can result in aflatoxin contamination in the seed. Breeding resistant cultivars would be an effective approach to reduce aflatoxin accumulation. The objective of this study was to investigate the expression of the pathogenesis-related (PR) protein β-1,3-glucanase and the isoform patterns in peanut seed inoculated with A. flavus. Peanut genotypes GT-YY9 and GT-YY20 (both resistant to A. flavus infection) and Georgia Green and A100 (both susceptible to A. flavus infection) were used in this study. The activities of β-1,3-glucanase were similar in the uninfected seed of all genotypes, but increased significantly in the resistant genotypes after inoculation in comparison with the susceptible genotypes. An in-gel (native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis [PAGE]) enzymatic activity assay of β-1,3-glucanase revealed that there were more protein bands corresponding to β-1,3-glucanase isoforms in the infected seed of resistant genotypes than in the infected seed of susceptible genotypes. Both acidic and basic β-1,3-glucanase isoforms were detected in the isoelectric focusing gels. Thin-layer chromatography analysis of the hydrolytic products from the reaction mixtures of the substrate with the total protein extract or individual band of native PAGE revealed the presence of enzymatic hydrolytic oligomer products. The individual bands corresponding to the bands of β-1,3-glucanase isoforms Glu 1 to 5 were separated on the sodium dodecyl sulfate-PAGE, resulting in two bands of 10 and 13 kDa, respectively. The sequences of fragments of the 13-kDa major protein band showed a high degree of homology to conglutin, a storage protein in peanut seed. Conglutin is reported as a peanut allergen, Ara h2. Our data provide the first evidences for peanut having β-1,3-glucanase activities and the association with the resistance to A. flavus colonization in peanut seed. We have not directly demonstrated that conglutin has β-1,3-glucanase activity.

The American Phytopathological Society, 2005