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Isolation and characterization of a lipid transfer protein expressed in ripening fruit of Capsicum chinense

Kede Liu, Hui Jiang, Shanna L. Moore, Christopher B. Watkins and Molly M. Jahn
Planta
Vol. 223, No. 4 (March 2006), pp. 672-683
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23389272
Page Count: 12
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Isolation and characterization of a lipid transfer protein expressed in ripening fruit of Capsicum chinense
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Abstract

A novel LTP (CcLTP) from a Capsicum chinense cv Habanero was isolated from a fruit-specific SSH library. While this gene shares similarity with other LTPs, it is considerably larger than any lipid transfer protein reported to date and has a neutral predicted pI. CcLTP is consistently expressed in seedlings from three Capsicum species. It is also present at very high levels in ripening and mature fruit in C. chinense, but not in fruit of any C. annuum or C. frutescens varieties examined. We have obtained 3.8 kb of sequence containing the CcLTP gene and isolated two forms of mRNA transcripts which result from an alternative splicing event. Both transcripts are full-length cDNAs with putative open reading frames of 492 bp and 519 bp, encoding proteins of 164 and 173 amino acids, respectively, which differ only by an insertion of 9 amino acids. Both splice variants are detected consistently via RT-PCR. A 19 bp deletion in the promoter region differentiates C. chinense CcLTP from that of C. annuum and C. frutescens. The protein and its expression are characterized in C. chinense fruit, and a possible role in pepper fruit ripening and maturation is discussed.

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