, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 347-356
Date: 03 Sep 2012

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

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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.