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Plant J. 2005 Jul;43(2):213-25.

Necrotizing activity of five Botrytis cinerea endopolygalacturonases produced in Pichia pastoris.

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Laboratory of Phytopathology, Wageningen University, Binnenhaven 5, 6709 PD Wageningen, The Netherlands.


Five Botrytis cinerea endopolygalacturonase enzymes (BcPGs) were individually expressed in Pichia pastoris, purified to homogeneity and biochemically characterized. While the pH optima of the five enzymes were similar (approximately pH 4.5) the maximum activity of individual enzymes differed significantly. For hydrolysis of polygalacturonic acid (PGA), the V(max,app) ranged from 10 to 900 U mg(-1), while the K(m,app) ranged from 0.16 to 0.6 mg ml(-1). Although all BcPGs are true endopolygalacturonases, they apparently have different modes of action. PGA hydrolysis by BcPG1, BcPG2 and BcPG4 leads to the transient accumulation of oligomers with DP < 7, whereas PGA hydrolysis by BcPG3 and BcPG6 leads to the immediate accumulation of monomers and dimers. The necrotizing activity (NA) of all BcPGs was tested separately in tomato, broad bean and Arabidopsis thaliana. They showed different NAs on these plants. BcPG1 and BcPG2 possessed the strongest NA as tissue collapse was observed within 10 min after infiltration of broad bean leaves. The amino acid (aa) D192A substitution in the active site of BcPG2 not only abolished enzyme activity but also the NA, indicating that the NA is dependent on enzyme activity. Furthermore, deletion of the Bcpg2 gene in B. cinerea resulted in a strong reduction in virulence on tomato and broad bean. Primary lesion formation was delayed by approximately 24 h and the lesion expansion rate was reduced by 50-85%. These data indicate that BcPG2 is an important virulence factor for B. cinerea.

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