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Plant Physiol. Nov 1987; 85(3): 626–630.
PMCID: PMC1054312

Elicitation of Necrosis in Vigna unguiculata Walp. by Homogeneous Aspergillus niger Endo-Polygalacturonase and by α-d-Galacturonate Oligomers 1


Endo-polygalacturonase (PG) was purified from a commercial preparation of Aspergillus niger pectinase by means of carboxymethylcellulose chromatography, preparative isoelectric focusing, and gel permeation through Sephadex G-50. The enzyme was electrophoretically homogeneous and consisted of a single polypeptide chain with a molecular weight of 33,500. The enzyme exhibited a specific activity significantly higher than those of purified polygalacturonases from phytopathogenic fungi. Galacturonate oligomers with a degree of polymerization higher than four appeared quickly as products of the enzymic hydrolysis of Napolygalacturonate. The oligomers were later degraded to di- and monogalacturonate. The homogeneous enzyme and growing mycelium of Aspergillus niger separately elicited a necrotic response in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata Walp.) pods. Heat-inactivated PG and PG inactivated with specific antibodies did not elicit necrosis, suggesting that the catalytic activity of the enzyme is necessary for its function as an elicitor. The PG-released oligosaccharides from Vigna cell wall and the galacturonides with a degree of polymerization greater than four separately elicited necrosis, whereas di- and monogalacturonate did not.

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Selected References

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