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Plant Mol Biol. 2001 Oct;47(3):423-35.

Isolation of the first putative peroxidase cDNA from a conifer and the local and systemic accumulation of related proteins upon pathogen infection.

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  • 1Norwegian Forest Research Institute, As.


Peroxidases are associated with the active defence reactions in higher plants in response to foreign organisms. They are involved in the oxidation of phenolic compounds in cell walls, polymerization of lignin and suberin, and in several other oxidation processes but the exact function of individual peroxidases is not known. We have isolated a cDNA encoding the putative defence-related and basic plant peroxidase SPI2 (spruce pathogen-induced 2), with an estimated molecular mass of 34 kDa, from roots of Norway spruce (Picea abies) seedlings. This is the first description of the isolation of a complete cDNA encoding a putative peroxidase from a gymnosperm. The transcript was present in the roots of healthy seedlings, and during infection with the pathogen Pythium dimorphum there was a rapid initial increase followed by a dramatic reduction of the transcript. The 34 kDa mature SPI2 protein was detected in both the developing root and shoot of healthy seedlings and increased amounts of SPI2 and increased accumulation of highly basic peroxidase isoforms was observed in roots after infection. In addition, two SPI2-related proteins with apparent molecular masses of 38 and 39 kDa, were also detected. Both these proteins accumulated in roots only after infection, and the 39 kDa protein was in addition detected in shoots of root-infected seedlings. Thus, both SPI2 and the SPI2-related proteins accumulate as a local response, in roots, and as a systemic response to infection the 39 kDa protein accumulates in the shoot.

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