3 Biotech

, 9:55 | Cite as

Expression analysis of the polyphenol oxidase gene in response to signaling molecules, herbivory and wounding in antisense transgenic tobacco plants

  • Ejaz Aziz
  • Riffat Batool
  • Wasim Akhtar
  • Shazia Rehman
  • Per L. Gregersen
  • Tariq MahmoodEmail author
Original Article


Key message

We provide evidence that the expression of the PPO gene was significantly reduced in response to wounding, MeJ and herbivory in transgenic tobacco under wound-inducible OsRGLP2 promoter in an anti-sense orientation.


Polyphenol oxidase (PPO) genes play an important role in plant defense mechanisms against biotic and abiotic stresses. In the present study, a 655 bp core sequence of the potato PPO gene was placed under the control of wound-inducible OsRGLP2 promoter in an anti-sense direction to evaluate its potential effects during biotic (Trialeurodes vaporariorum’s infestation) and various abiotic (wounding, MeJ, ABA) stresses. Transcriptional profiling of PPO gene by real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) in transgenic tobacco revealed a significant suppression (3.5-fold) of PPO in response to wounding than control plants after 24 h. In response to MeJ at different concentrations (100 µM and 200 µM), the PPO expression was greatly down-regulated by 4.7-fold after 6 h at 100 µM MeJ, and a non-significant expression was observed with ABA treatment. Moreover, significant levels of PPO reduction (sixfolds) was found in whitefly feeding assay indicating that expression of potato PPO in an anti-sense orientation had down-regulated the PPO activity. This down-regulation of PPO by wounding, MeJ and whitefly infestation clearly links the specific expression of PPO in biotic and abiotic stresses. In the future, PPO gene suppression in transgenic plants using anti-sense potato PPO gene construct can be used to inhibit enzymatic browning in fruits and vegetables, e.g., potato.


Polyphenol oxidase Wounding Herbivory Elicitors Silencing 



We acknowledge the financial support of the Higher Education Commission, Pakistan, for funding the International Research Initiative Program to conduct research work.

Author contributions

EA, TM and PLG conceived and designed the research. EA carried out the vector construction, plant transformation and expression analysis, performed data analyses and drafted the manuscript. RB, WA and TM contributed reagents and materials, participated in study design and coordination, and drafted the manuscript. SR and PLG contributed to data analyses and drafted the manuscript. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

13205_2019_1587_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (111 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 111 KB)


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Copyright information

© King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ejaz Aziz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Riffat Batool
    • 2
  • Wasim Akhtar
    • 3
  • Shazia Rehman
    • 4
  • Per L. Gregersen
    • 5
  • Tariq Mahmood
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of BotanyGovernment Degree College Khanpur KPKHaripurPakistan
  2. 2.Department of Plant SciencesQuaid-i-Azam UniversityIslamabadPakistan
  3. 3.Department of BotanyMohi-ud-Din Islamic UniversityNerian Sharif, AJKPakistan
  4. 4.Department of BotanyUniversity of GujratRawalpindiPakistan
  5. 5.Department of Genetics and BiotechnologyAarhus UniversitySlagelseDenmark

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