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Plant Physiol. 2001 Jul;126(3):1186-95.

Defoliation induces fructan 1-exohydrolase II in Witloof chicory roots. Cloning and purification of two isoforms, fructan 1-exohydrolase IIa and fructan 1-exohydrolase IIb. Mass fingerprint of the fructan 1-exohydrolase II enzymes.

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Department of Biology, Laboratory for Developmental Biology, Botany Institute, K.U. Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 31, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium.


The cloning of two highly homologous chicory (Cichorium intybus var. foliosum cv Flash) fructan 1-exohydrolase cDNAs (1-FEH IIa and 1-FEH IIb) is described. Both isoenzymes could be purified from forced chicory roots as well as from the etiolated "Belgian endive" leaves where the 1-FEH IIa isoform is present in higher concentrations. Full-length cDNAs were obtained by a combination of reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (PCR), PCR and 5'- and 3'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends using primers based on N-terminal and conserved amino acid sequences. 1-FEH IIa and 1-FEH IIb cDNA-derived amino acid sequences are most homologous to a new group of plant glycosyl hydrolases harboring cell wall-type enzymes with acid isoelectric points. Unlike the observed expression profiles of chicory 1-FEH I, northern analysis revealed that 1-FEH II is expressed when young chicory plants are defoliated, suggesting that this enzyme can be induced at any developmental stage when large energy supplies are necessary (regrowth after defoliation).

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