Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 101, Issue 1–2, pp 95–112 | Cite as

Glycine rich proline rich protein from Sorghum bicolor serves as an antimicrobial protein implicated in plant defense response

  • Tanmoy Halder
  • Gouranga Upadhyaya
  • Shuddhanjali Roy
  • Ria Biswas
  • Arup Das
  • Angshuman Bagchi
  • Tanushree Agarwal
  • Sudipta RayEmail author


Key message

Sorghum glycine rich proline rich protein (SbGPRP1) exhibit antimicrobial properties and play a crucial role during biotic stress condition.


Several proteins in plants build up the innate immune response system in plants which get triggered during the occurrence of biotic stress. Here we report the functional characterization of a glycine-rich proline-rich protein (SbGPRP1) from Sorghum which was previously demonstrated to be involved in abiotic stresses. Expression studies carried out with SbGPRP1 showed induced expression upon application of phytohormones like salicylic acid which might be the key in fine-tuning the expression level. Upon challenging the Sorghum plants with a compatible pathogen the SbGprp1 transcript was found to be upregulated. SbGPRP1 encodes a 197 amino acid polypeptide which was bacterially-expressed and purified for in vitro assays. Gram-positive bacteria like Bacillus and phytopathogen Rhodococcus fascians showed inhibited growth in the presence of the protein. The NPN assay, electrolytic leakage and SEM analysis showed membrane damage in bacterial cells. Ectopic expression of SbGPRP1 in tobacco plants led to enhanced tolerance towards infection caused by R. fascians. Though the N-terminal part of the protein showed disorderness the C-terminal end was quite capable of forming several α-helices which was correlated with CD spectroscopic analysis. Here, we have tried to determine the structural model for the protein and predicted the association of antimicrobial activity with the C-terminal region of the protein.


Antimicrobial peptide Biotic stress Glycine-rich proline-rich protein Rhodococcus fascians Scanning electron microscopy Transgenic plant 



We express our wholehearted thanks to DST-FIST and UGC CAS for instrumental facilities of Department of Botany, University of Calcutta. We thank CRNN-University of Calcutta for their support regarding scanning electron microscopy. This work is supported by grants to SR from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Government of India (38(1402)/15/EMR-II dated 14.08.2015)) and research fellowship to TH (Sanction No. 09/028(0914)/2013-EMR-I). GU thanks the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India for Research Fellowship (Sanction No. DST/INSPIRE Fellowship/2015/IF150503). AD and ShR thank the University Grants Commission, Government of India for Research Fellowship Sanction No. (813/(CSIR-UGC NET DEC. 2016)), (2061530629 dated 10/12/2015) respectively.

Author contributions

SR conceived the original screening and research plans and supervised the experiments; TH, GU, ShR, RB, AD and TA. performed most of the experiments; TH, GU, ShR, RB, AB and AD designed the experiments and analyzed the data; SR conceived the project and wrote the article with contributions of all the authors; SR supervised and complemented the writing. TH and GU equally contributed to the work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors decalre that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

11103_2019_894_MOESM1_ESM.docx (3.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 3428 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Plant Functional Genomics Laboratory, Department of BotanyUniversity of CalcuttaKolkataIndia
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry and BiophysicsUniversity of KalyaniNadiaIndia

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