TGTCACA motif is a novel cis-regulatory enhancer element involved in fruit-specific expression of the cucumisin gene.
Cucumisin, a subtilisin-like serine protease, is expressed at high levels in the fruit of melon (Cucumis melo L.) and accumulates in the juice. We investigated roles of the promoter regions and DNA-protein interactions in fruit-specific expression of the cucumisin gene. In transient expression analysis, a chimeric gene construct containing a 1.2-kb cucumisin promoter fused to a beta-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene was expressed in fruit tissues at high levels, but the promoter activities in leaves and stems were very low. Deletion analysis indicated that a positive regulatory region is located between nucleotides -234 and -214 relative to the transcriptional initiation site. Gain-of-function experiments revealed that this 20-bp sequence conferred fruit specificity and contained a regulatory enhancer. Gel mobility shift experiments demonstrated the presence of fruit nuclear factors that interact with the cucumisin promoter. A typical G-box (GACACGTGTC) present in the 20-bp sequence did not bind fruit protein, but two possible cis-elements, an I-box-like sequence (AGATATGATAAAA) and an odd base palindromic TGTCACA motif, were identified in the promoter region between positions -254 and -215. The I-box-like sequence bound more tightly to fruit nuclear protein than the TGTCACA motif. The I-box-like sequence functions as a negative regulatory element, and the TGTCACA motif is a novel enhancer element necessary for fruit-specific expression of the cucumisin gene. Specific nucleotides responsible for the binding of fruit nuclear protein in these two elements were also determined. (+info)
Role of ethylene in the biosynthetic pathway of aliphatic ester aroma volatiles in Charentais Cantaloupe melons.
Compared to other melon types, Cantaloupe Charentais melons are highly aromatic with a major contribution to the aroma being made by aliphatic and branched esters. Using a transgenic line in which the synthesis of the plant hormone ethylene has been considerably lowered by antisense ACC oxidase mRNA (AS), the aliphatic ester pathway steps at which ethylene exerts its regulatory role were found. The data show that the production of aliphatic esters such as hexyl and butyl acetate was blocked in AS fruit and could be reversed by ethylene. Using fruit discs incubated in the presence of various precursors, the steps at which ester formation was inhibited in AS fruit was shown to be the reduction of fatty acids and aldehydes, the last step of acetyl transfer to alcohols being unaffected. However, treating AS fruit with the ethylene antagonist 1-methylcyclopropene resulted in about 50% inhibition of acetyl transfer activity, indicating that this portion of activity was ethylene-dependent and this was supported by the low residual ethylene concentration of AS fruit discs (around 2 microl l(-1)). In conclusion, the reduction of fatty acids and aldehydes appears essentially to be ethylene-dependent, whilst the last step of alcohol acetylation has ethylene-dependent and ethylene-independent components, probably corresponding to differentially regulated alcohol acetyltransferases. (+info)
Detection of ethylene receptor protein Cm-ERS1 during fruit development in melon (Cucumis melo L.).
Antibodies against melon ethylene receptor, Cm- ERS1 was prepared. Cm-ERS1 protein formed a disulphide-linked homodimer and it was present in microsomal membranes but not in soluble fractions. Cm-ERS1 protein was present at high levels in melon fruit during early developmental stages. This transition pattern was also observed in another melon cultivar. (+info)
Molecular and biochemical characteristics of a gene encoding an alcohol acyl-transferase involved in the generation of aroma volatile esters during melon ripening.
Two genes (CM-AAT1 and CM-AAT2) with strong sequence homology (87% identity at the protein level) putatively involved in the formation of aroma volatile esters have been isolated from Charentais melon fruit. They belong to a large and highly divergent family of multifunctional plant acyl-transferases and show at most 21% identity to the only other fruit acyl-transferase characterized so far in strawberry. RT-PCR studies indicated that both genes were specifically expressed in fruit at increasing rates in the early and mid phases of ripening. Expression was severely reduced in ethylene-suppressed antisense ACC oxidase (AS) fruit and in wild-type (WT) fruit treated with the ethylene antagonist 1-MCP. Cloning of the two genes in yeast revealed that the CM-AAT1 protein exhibited alcohol acyl-transferase activity while no such activity could be detected for CM-AAT2 despite the strong homology between the two sequences. CM-AAT1 was capable of producing esters from a wide range of combinations of alcohols and acyl-CoAs. The higher the carbon chain of aliphatic alcohols, the higher the activity. Branched alcohols were esterified at differential rates depending on the position of the methyl group and the nature of the acyl donor. Phenyl and benzoyl alcohols were also good substrates, but activity varied with the position and size of the aromatic residue. The cis/trans configuration influenced activity either positively (2-hexenol) or negatively (3-hexenol). Because ripening melons evolve the whole range of esters generated by the recombinant CM-AAT1 protein, we conclude that CM-AAT1 plays a major role in aroma volatiles formation in the melon. (+info)
Isolation and identification of a phosphate deficiency-induced C-glycosylflavonoid that stimulates arbuscular mycorrhiza formation in melon roots.
Melon (Cucumis melo) roots were inoculated with or without the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus Glomus caledonium under low phosphate conditions. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis of the secondary metabolites in butanol extracts from roots revealed that the level of one compound in noninoculated roots showed a significant increase from 30 days postinoculation. No accumulation was observed in mycorrhizal roots and high-phosphate-supplemented roots, indicating that the accumulation of the compound was caused by a phosphate deficiency. The compound was isolated by column chromatography and identified by spectroscopic methods to be a C-glycosylflavone, isovitexin 2''-O-beta-glucoside. The effect of the compound on mycorrhizal colonization in melon roots was examined under low (0.05 mM) and high (2 mM) phosphate conditions. The degree of mycorrhizal colonization in control roots grown under high phosphate conditions (8.8%) was much lower than when grown under low phosphate conditions (22%). The treatment of roots with the compound at concentrations of 20 and 50 microM increased root colonization under both low and high phosphate conditions. In particular, the degrees of mycorrhizal colonization in treated roots grown under high phosphate conditions (25 and 22% at 20 and 50 microM, respectively) were comparable to that in untreated control roots grown under low phosphate conditions (22%). These findings suggest that the phosphate deficiency-induced C-glycosylflavonoid is involved in the regulation of AM fungal colonization in melon roots. (+info)
Plant colonization by the vascular wilt fungus Fusarium oxysporum requires FOW1, a gene encoding a mitochondrial protein.
The soil-borne fungus Fusarium oxysporum causes vascular wilts of a wide variety of plant species by directly penetrating roots and colonizing the vascular tissue. The pathogenicity mutant B60 of the melon wilt pathogen F. oxysporum f. sp. melonis was isolated previously by restriction enzyme-mediated DNA integration mutagenesis. Molecular analysis of B60 identified the affected gene, designated FOW1, which encodes a protein with strong similarity to mitochondrial carrier proteins of yeast. Although the FOW1 insertional mutant and gene-targeted mutants showed normal growth and conidiation in culture, they showed markedly reduced virulence as a result of a defect in the ability to colonize the plant tissue. Mitochondrial import of Fow1 was verified using strains expressing the Fow1-green fluorescent protein fusion proteins. The FOW1-targeted mutants of the tomato wilt pathogen F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici also showed reduced virulence. These data strongly suggest that FOW1 encodes a mitochondrial carrier protein that is required specifically for colonization in the plant tissue by F. oxysporum. (+info)
Diversity of the superfamily of phloem lectins (phloem protein 2) in angiosperms.
Phloem protein 2 (PP2) is one of the most abundant and enigmatic proteins in the phloem sap. Although thought to be associated with structural P-protein, PP2 is translocated in the assimilate stream where its lectin activity or RNA-binding properties can exert effects over long distances. Analyzing the diversity of these proteins in vascular plants led to the identification of PP2-like genes in species from 17 angiosperm and gymnosperm genera. This wide distribution of PP2 genes in the plant kingdom indicates that they are ancient and common in vascular plants. Their presence in cereals and gymnosperms, both of which lack structural P-protein, also supports a wider role for these proteins. Within this superfamily, PP2 proteins have considerable size polymorphism. This is attributable to variability in the length of the amino terminus that extends from a highly conserved domain. The conserved PP2 domain was identified in the proteins encoded by six genes from several cucurbits, celery (Apium graveolens), and Arabidopsis that are specifically expressed in the sieve element-companion cell complex. The acquisition of additional modular domains in the amino-terminal extensions of other PP2-like proteins could reflect divergence from its phloem function. (+info)
Ozone increases root respiration but decreases leaf CO2 assimilation in cotton and melon.
It is well established that exposure of plant foliage to tropospheric ozone (O3) inhibits photosynthetic gas exchange in leaves and the translocation of current photosynthate to sink tissues. It is less clear what impact O3-reduced source strength has on the physiological responses of sink tissue such as fine roots. The responses were investigated of carbon acquisition in leaves and carbon utilization in the respiration of fine roots, following chronic (weeks) and acute (hours) exposures to O3 in open top chambers. Previous reports indicate increased, decreased, and unchanged rates of root respiration following exposure to O3. A decline in source activity is confirmed, but an increase in sink respiration is reported in fine roots of Pima cotton (cv. S-6) and muskmelon (cv. Ambrosia hybrid). Leaf source strength and root sink activity changed in opposing directions, thus there was no positive correlation that might indicate direct substrate control of root function. Additional linkages between shoot and root following exposure to O3 may be involved. (+info)