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Eur J Biochem. 1997 Mar 15;244(3):743-9.

Purification, characterisation and cDNA cloning of an antimicrobial peptide from Macadamia integrifolia.

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  • 1Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Plant Pathology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.


An antimicrobial peptide with no significant amino acid sequence similarity to previously described peptides has been isolated from the nut kernels of Macadcamia integrifolia. The peptide, termed MiAMP1, is highly basic with an estimated pI of 10.1, a mass of 8.1 kDa and contains 76 amino acids including 6 cysteine residues. A cDNA clone containing the entire coding region corresponding to the peptide was obtained. The deduced amino acid sequence of the cDNA indicated a 26-amino-acid signal peptide at the N-terminus of the preprotein. Purified MiAMP1 inhibited the growth of a variety of fungal, oomycete and gram-positive bacterial phytopathogens in vitro. Some pathogens exhibited close to 100% inhibition in less than 1 microM peptide (5 microg/ml). Antimicrobial activity was diminished against most, but not all, microbes in the presence of calcium and potassium chloride salts (1 mM and 50 mM, respectively). MiAMP1 was active against bakers yeast, was inactive against Escherichia coli and was non-toxic to plant and mammalian cells. Analysis of genomic DNA indicated that MiAMP1 was encoded on a single copy gene containing no introns. The MiAMP1 gene may prove useful in genetic manipulations to increase disease resistance in transgenic plants.

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