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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Characterization of a newly identified rice chitinase-like protein (OsCLP) homologous to xylanase inhibitor

Jingni Wu1, Yiming Wang2, Sun Tae Kim3, Sang Gon Kim2* and Kyu Young Kang12*

Author affiliations

1 Division of Applied Life Science (BK21 program), Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, 660-701, South Korea

2 Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Research Center, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, 660-701, South Korea

3 Department of Plant Bioscience, Pusan National University, Miryang, 627-706, South Korea

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Citation and License

BMC Biotechnology 2013, 13:4  doi:10.1186/1472-6750-13-4

Published: 18 January 2013

Abstract

Background

During rice blast fungal attack, plant xylanase inhibitor proteins (XIPs) that inhibit fungal xylanase activity are believed to act as a defensive barrier against fungal pathogens. To understand the role of XIPs in rice, a xylanase inhibitor was cloned from rice. The expression of this gene was examined at the transcriptional/translational levels during compatible and incompatible interactions, and the biochemical activity of this protein was also examined.

Results

Sequence alignment revealed that the deduced amino acid sequence of OsCLP shares a high degree of similarity with that of other plant TAXI-type XIPs. However, recombinant OsCLP did not display inhibitory activity against endo-1,4-β-xylanase enzymes from Aureobasidium pullulans (A. pullulans) or Trichoderma viride (T. viride). Instead, an in-gel activity assay revealed strong chitinase activity. The transcription and translation of OsCLP were highly induced when rice was exposed to pathogens in an incompatible interaction. In addition, exogenous treatment with OsCLP affected the growth of the basidiomycete fungus Rhizoctonia solani through degradation of the hyphal cell wall. These data suggest that OsCLP, which has chitinase activity, may play an important role in plant defenses against pathogens.

Conclusions

Taken together, our results demonstrate that OsCLP may have antifungal activity. This protein may directly inhibit pathogen growth by degrading fungal cell wall components through chitinase activity.

Keywords:
Antifungal activity; Chitinase; Oryza sativa; Xylanase inhibitor