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Overexpression of polygalacturonase-inhibiting protein (PGIP) gene from Hypericum perforatum alters expression of multiple defense-related genes and modulates recalcitrance to Agrobacterium tumefaciens in tobacco

AuthorsHou, Weina; Singh, Rupesh Kumar; Zhao, Pan; Martins, Viviana; Aguilar, Emmanuel; Canto, Tomás ; Tenllado, Francisco ; Franklin, Gregory; Dias, Alberto C. P.
KeywordsH. perforatum L. secondary metabolites
Plant defense responses
Pathogenesis-related proteins
Phenolic oxidative coupling protein
Virus-induced gene silencing
Issue Date2-Sep-2020
CitationJournal of Plant Physiology 153268 (2020)
AbstractHypericum perforatum L is a remarkable source of high-value secondary metabolites with increasing applications in pharmaceutical industry. However, improvement in the production of secondary metabolites through genetic engineering is a demanding task, as H. perforatum is not amenable to Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation. In this study, we identified a Polygalacturonase-inhibiting protein (PGIP) gene from a subtractive cDNA library of A. tumefaciens-treated H. perforatum suspension cells. The role of HpPGIP in defense against A. tumefaciens was analyzed in transgenic Nicotiana tabacum overexpressing HpPGIP alone or fused at the N-terminus to Phenolic oxidative coupling protein (Hyp-1), a gene that positively modulates resistance to A. tumefaciens. Furthermore, virus-induced gene silencing was employed to knock down the expression of the PGIP homologous in N. benthamiana. Results showed that Agrobacterium-mediated expression efficiency greatly decreased in both HpPGIP and Hyp-1-PGIP transgenic plants, as assessed by GUS staining assays. However, silencing of PGIP in N. benthamiana increased the resistance to A. tumefaciens rather than susceptibility, which correlated with induction of pathogenesis-related proteins (PRs). The expression of core genes involved in several defense pathways was also analyzed in transgenic tobacco plants. Overexpression of HpPGIP led to up-regulation of key genes involved in hormone signaling, microRNA-based gene silencing, homeostasis of reactive oxygen species, and the phenylpropanoid pathway. Overexpression of Hyp-1-PGIP seemed to enhance the effect of PGIP on the expression of most genes analyzed. Moreover, HpPGIP was detected in the cytoplasm, nucleus and the plasma membrane or cell wall by confocal microscopy. Overall, our findings suggest HpPGIP modulates recalcitrance to A. tumefaciens-mediated transformation in H. perforatum.
Description43 p.-5 fig.-3 fig. supl.-4 tab. supl.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jplph.2020.153268
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