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Plant Physiol. Jan 1984; 74(1): 52–60.
PMCID: PMC1066623

Host-Pathogen Interactions 1

XXV. Endopolygalacturonic Acid Lyase from Erwinia carotovora Elicits Phytoalexin Accumulation by Releasing Plant Cell Wall Fragments

Abstract

Heat-labile elicitors of phytoalexin accumulation in soybeans (Glycine max L. Merr. cv Wayne) were detected in culture filtrates of Erwinia carotovora grown on a defined medium containing citrus pectin as the sole carbon source. The heat-labile elicitors were highly purified by cation-exchange chromatography on a CM-Sephadex (C-50) column, followed by agarose-affinity chromatography on a Bio-Gel A-0.5m gel filtration column. The heat-labile elicitor activity co-purified with two α-1,4-endopolygalacturonic acid lyases (EC 4·2·2·2). Endopolygalacturonic acid lyase activity appeared to be necessary for elicitor activity because heat-inactivated enzyme preparations did not elicit phytoalexins. The purified endopolygalacturonic acid lyases elicited pterocarpan phytoalexins at microbial-inhibitory concentrations in the soybean-cotyledon bioassay when applied at a concentration of 55 nanograms per milliliter (1 × 10−9 molar). One of these lyases released heat-stable elicitors from soybean cell walls, citrus pectin, and sodium polypectate. The heat-stable elicitor-active material solubilized from soybean cell walls by the lyase was composed of at least 90% (w/v) uronosyl residues. These results demonstrate that endopolygalacturonic acid lyase elicits phytoalexin accumulation by releasing fragments from pectic polysaccharides in plant cell walls.

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Selected References

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