African Journal of Biotechnology

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Recovery of active pathogenesis-related enzymes from the apoplast of Musa acuminata infected by Mycosphaerella fijiensis

I Islas-Flores, C Alcocer-Alvarez, YA Sanchez-Rodriguez, B Canto-Canche


The fungus Mycosphaerella fijiensis causes black Sigatoka (BS) disease, a major pathogen in the banana industry worldwide. Numerous molecular and biochemical studies have been done for the M. fijiensis, Musa acuminata interaction, but this is the first study describing the zymographic behavior of β-1,3-glucanase, chitinase and protease in the apoplast and symplast of healthy, BS-infected but asymptomatic and BS diseased banana leaves. In BS-infected tissues, β-1,3-glucanase enzymatic activity was associated with two polypeptides with retention index (Ri) values of 0.43 and 0.56. These were more notable in the apoplast than in the symplast. Chitinase activity in BS-infected tissue in both the apoplast and symplast was mainly associated with a single polypeptide (Ri = 0.89). Both β-1,3-glucanase and chitinase activities were apparently more intense in BS-infected leaves than in healthy leaves. Protease activity was associated with two polypeptides (Ri = 0.04 and 0.14). In both the apoplast and symplast, the Ri 0.04 polypeptide increased in intensity with disease progression, whereas Ri 0.14 polypeptide intensity decreased. Overall protease activity intensity was higher in the symplast. Maximum symplast contamination of the apoplast was 2% as estimated by glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity, a biochemical marker for symplast. Accumulation of pathogenesis-related enzymatic activities in the apoplast of M. acuminata leaf tissue was caused by hostcontrolled enzyme downloading in response to M. fijiensis infection. Clear differences were identified in the electrophoretic profiles of healthy and diseased banana plants. The results further support a putative role of these enzymes in the extracellular defense repertoire of banana and, more importantly, suggest that M. fijiensis possesses a mechanism for suppression and delay of defense response in M. acuminata.

Key words: Black Sigatoka, glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase, pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE), retention index (Ri), sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE).
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