Plant Molecular Biology Reporter

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 347–356

Comparison of relative RT-PCR and northern blot analyses to measure expression of β-1,3-glucanase inNicotiana benthamiana infected withColltotrichum destructivum


DOI: 10.1007/BF02772122

Cite this article as:
Dean, J.D., Goodwin, P.H. & Hsiang, T. Plant Mol Biol Rep (2002) 20: 347. doi:10.1007/BF02772122


Although northern blot analysis is effective for quantifying gene expression, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is much more sensitive. Obtaining quantitative RT-PCR results, however, can be challenging. Relative RT-PCR uses standard PCR techniques but permits the comparison of transcript quantities between samples by coamplifying the gene of interest with a housekeeping gene that acts as an internal control. To analyze the expression of a plant gene encoding a pathogenesis-related protein, such as β-1,3-glucanase, a translation elongation factor 1α (EF-1α) gene was selected as an internal control. Northern blot analysis demonstrated constitutive expression of the plant EF-1α gene following infection ofNicotiana benthamiana byColletotrichum destructivum. Primers for the gene of interest and internal control were compatible, and 35 cycles of amplification gave reproducible relative RT-PCR results for β-1,3-glucanase gene expression. A high correlation was observed between the relative quantification of β-1,3-glucanase gene expression as determined by northern blot and relative RT-PCR analyses, demonstrating the validity of relative RT-PCR with a plant EF-1α gene as a control.

Key words

β-1,3-glucanase Colletotrichum Nicotiana northern blot relative RT-PCR translation elongation factor 1α 



translation elongation factor 1α


hours postinoculation


pathogenesis-related protein 2


reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction

Copyright information

© Springer 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental BiologyUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada

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