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Mol Gen Genet. 1992 Jul;234(1):97-104.

Expression of the gene encoding the PR-like protein PRms in germinating maize embryos.

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Centre d'Investigació y Desenvolupament (C.S.I.C), Dep. Genética Molecular, Barcelona, Spain.


The PRms protein is a pathogenesis-related (PR)-like protein whose mRNA accumulates during germination of maize seeds. Expression of the PRms gene is induced after infection of maize seeds with the fungus Fusarium moniliforme. To further our investigations on the expression of the PRms gene we examined the accumulation of PRms mRNA in different tissues of maize seedlings infected with F. moniliforme and studied the effect of fungal elicitors, the mycotoxin moniliformin, the hormone gibberellic acid, and specific chemical agents. Our results indicate that fungal infection, and treatment either with fungal elicitors or with moniliformin, a mycotoxin produced by F. moniliforme, increase the steady-state level of PRms mRNA. PRms mRNA accumulation is also stimulated by the application of the hormone gibberellic acid or by treatment with silver nitrate, whereas acetylsalicylic acid has no effect. In situ RNA hybridization in isolated germinating embryo sections demonstrates that the PRms gene is expressed in the scutellum, particularly in a group of inner cells, and in the epithelium lying at the interface of the scutellum and the endosperm. The pattern of expression of the PRms gene closely resembles that found for hydrolytic enzymes, being confined to the scutellum and the aleurone layer of the germinating maize seed. Our results suggest that the PRms protein has a function during the normal process of seed germination that has become adapted to serve among the defence mechanisms induced in response to pathogens during maize seed germination.

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