Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 31, Issue 6, pp 1141–1151 | Cite as

Characterization of pectinases and pectin methylesterase cDNAs in pods of green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.)

  • Monique E. M. Ebbelaar
  • Gregory A. Tucker
  • Marjet M. Laats
  • Cees van Dijk
  • Trinette Stolle-Smits
  • Kees Recourt


Tomato fruit maturation is accompanied by a depolymerization of cell wall pectins which is due to the action of endopolygalacturonase (endoPG) preceded by pectin methylesterase (PE) activity. To investigate the role of endoPG and PE in determining the structure of green bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) pectins, these pectinases were studied during pod development. Early developmental stages displayed low endoPG or exoPG activities while PE activities were measurable during all stages of pod and seed development. These results do not favour a possible synergistic action of PE and PG. For seeds, the relatively high PE activities concurred with relatively low levels of pectin methyl esterification. At a molecular level, one partial chromosomal clone of 210 pb (PE1V), two partial PE cDNA clones of 660 bp (PE2V and PE3V) from cv. verona and one full-length PE cDNA clone of 1990 bp (PE3M), from cv. Masai were isolated. The identity of the CDNA clones was confirmed by expression inEscherichia coli and immunodetection with antibodies directed towards a tomato fruit PE. Transcripts corresponding with the genomic clone PE1V were not detected but both PE2 and PE3 cDNAs corresponded with mRNAs 1.8 kb in length. In contrast to PE2, PE3 gene expression levels varied significantly in pods from different cultivars suggesting an involvement in determining pod morphology.

Key words

cell wall gene expression pectin methylesterase Phaseolus vulgaris polygalacturonase texture 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monique E. M. Ebbelaar
    • 1
  • Gregory A. Tucker
    • 2
  • Marjet M. Laats
    • 1
  • Cees van Dijk
    • 1
  • Trinette Stolle-Smits
    • 1
  • Kees Recourt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Food ProcessingAgrotechnological Research Institute (ATO-DLO)WageningenNetherlands
  2. 2.Department of Physiology and Environmental ScienceUniversity of Nottingham School of AgricultureLoughboroughUK

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