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Movement of elicitins, necrosis-inducing proteins secreted by Phytophthora sp., in tobacco

Amélie Zanetti, Françoise Beauvais, Jean-Claude Huet and Jean-Claude Pernollet
Planta
Vol. 187, No. 2 (1992), pp. 163-170
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23381563
Page Count: 8
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Movement of elicitins, necrosis-inducing proteins secreted by Phytophthora sp., in tobacco
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Abstract

In culture, Phytophthora fungi — except P. nicotianae — secrete proteins, called elicitins, which cause necrosis on the leaf of the non-host tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) at a distance from the inoculation site, and are responsible for the incompatible reaction. Cryptogein and capsicein are elicitins secreted by P. cryptogea and P. capsici, respectively, and form part of a novel family of 10-kDa holoproteins. On tobacco, the necrotic activity of cryptogein is approx. 100-fold higher than that of capsicein. Using elicitins radioactively labelled in vivo, we have demonstrated that cryptogein and capsicein (i) move from a wound in the stem towards the leaves where they interact directly, (ii) reach their target without undergoing any molecular alteration, (iii) are carried in, and at the same rate as, the sap flow in the xylem, (iv) do not alter the rate of the xylem flow although they are able to provoke drastic damage to the lamina. Consequently, the remote necrotic activity of elicitins does not require any transportable secondary plant elicitor, so the differences in necrotic properties should be due to structural features involved in the interaction of elicitins with the leaf target cells.

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