The cloning and characterization of genes expressed in plant disease resistance could be an initial step toward understanding the molecular mechanisms of disease resistance. A metallothionein-like gene that is inducible by tobacco mosaic virus and by wounding was cloned in the process of subtractive cloning of disease resistance-response genes in Nicotiana glutinosa. One 530-bp cDNA clone (KC9-10) containing an open reading frame of 81 amino acids was characterized. Genomic Southern blot hybridization with the cDNA probe revealed that tobacco metallothionein-like genes are present in few or in one copy per diploid genome. Northern blot hybridization detected strong induction of a 0.5-kb mRNA by wounding and tobacco mosaic virus infection, but only mild induction was detected when copper was tested as an inducer. Methyl jasmonate, salicylic acid, and ethylene were also tested as possible inducers of this gene, but they had no effect on its expression. The possible role of this gene in wounded and pathogen-stressed plants is discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science