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Distribution, structure, organ-specific expression, and phylogenic analysis of the pathogenesis-related protein-3 chitinase gene family in rice (Oryza sativa L.).

Nakazaki T., Tsukiyama T., Okumoto Y., Kageyama D., Naito K., Inouye K., Tanisaka T.

Rice (Oryza sativa L.) pathogenesis-related (PR)-3 chitinases, like other PR proteins, are each coded by one of the genes of a multigene family in the plant genome. We assembled the database information about rice PR-3 chitinase sequences. A total of 12 PR-3 chitinase loci (Cht1 to Cht12) were found deployed in the rice genome. Some of the loci were occupied by 2 or more alleles. For all the loci expect Cht4, Cht5, Cht6, and Cht11, the amino acid sequence was polymorphic between japonica and indica varieties of rice, but glutamic acid acting as a catalytic residue was completely conserved in all the loci expect Cht7. All the genes except Cht7, which was not tested in this study, were transcripted in some organs (leaf, sheath, root, and meristem) of rice plants. These results suggest that chitinase proteins encoded by the genes at these loci have important biological effects, at least antifungal activities, on rice plants. We also proposed a new classification of rice PR-3 chitinases based on their domain structures. This classification was consistent with the results of phylogenetic analysis of rice chitinases.

Genome 49:619-630(2006) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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