The Zea mays b-32 ribosome-inactivating protein efficiently inhibits growth of Fusarium verticillioides on leaf pieces in vitro
Lanzanova, C.; Giuffrida, MG.; Motto, M.; Baro, C.; Donn, G.; Hartings, H.; Lupotto, E.; Careri, M.; Elviri, L.; Balconi, C.
European Journal of Plant Pathology
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In maize endosperm, a cytosolic albumin, b-32, with a molecular weight of 32 kDa is synthesised in temporal and quantitative coordination with the deposition of storage proteins. This protein has homology with several previously characterised Ribosome-Inactivating Proteins (RIPs). To verify if the maize plant expressing b-32 in various tissues has an increased tolerance to fungal pathogens, transgenic plants were obtained through genetic transformation using a chimeric gene containing the b-32 coding sequence downstream of a constitutive 35SCaMV promoter. A set of four independent homozygous progenies expressing b-32, were selected for a detailed analysis of b-32 expression in leaves and for pathogenicity tests. A differential b-32 content in leaf protein extracts was recorded in the transgenic progenies. Proteomic investigations on protein leaf extracts were carried out; the overlapping of the two-dimensional electrophoresis maps demonstrated the presence in a transgenic progeny, of additional spots, identified as b-32 and as a protein for herbicide resistance, in comparison to the negative control. Transgenic progenies were tested in bioassays to evaluate the response to Fusarium attack in leaf tissues. Preliminary experiments supported the choice of bioassay parameters for a reliable evaluation of transgenic progenies. The negative control was most susceptible to Fusarium verticillioides attack, compared to transgenic progenies. The data obtained indicate that maize b-32 was an effective antifungal protein by reducing Fusarium infection progression. Additionally, the reduction in Fusarium attack symptoms was related to b-32 concentration in leaf tissues.