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Chitinase in bean leaves: induction by ethylene, purification, properties, and possible function

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Abstract

Ethylene induced an endochitinase in primary leaves of Phaseolus vulgaris L. The enzyme formed chitobiose and higher chitin oligosaccharides from insoluble, colloidal or regenerated chitin. Less than 5% of the total chitinolytic activity was detected in an exochitinase assay proposed by Abeles et al. (1970, Plant Physiol. 47, 129–134) for ethylene-induced chitinase. In ethylene-treated plants, chitinase activity started to increase after a lag of 6 h and was induced 30 fold within 24 h. Exogenously supplied ethylene at 1 nl ml−1 was sufficient for half-maximal induction, and enhancement of the endogenous ethylene formation also enhanced chitinase activity. Cycloheximide prevented the induction. Among various hydrolases tested, only chitinase and, to a lesser extent, β-1,3-glucanase were induced by ethylene. Induction of chitinase by ethylene occurred in many different plant species. Ethylene-induced chitinase was purified by affinity chromatography on a column of regenerated chitin. Its apparent molecular weight obtained by sodium dodecyl sulfate-gel electrophoresis was 30,000; the molecular weight determined from filtration through Sephadex G-75 was 22,000. The purified enzyme attacked chitin in isolated cell walls of Fusarium solani. It also acted as a lysozyme when incubated with Micrococcus lysodeikticus. It is concluded that ethylene-induced chitinase functions as a defense enzyme against fungal and bacterial invaders.

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Abbreviations

ACC:

1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid

AVG:

aminoethoxyvinylglycine

GlcNAc:

N-acetylglucos-amine

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Boller, T., Gehri, A., Mauch, F. et al. Chitinase in bean leaves: induction by ethylene, purification, properties, and possible function. Planta 157, 22–31 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00394536

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00394536

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