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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1990 Jan;276(1):270-7.

Regulation of expression of the casbene synthetase gene during elicitation of castor bean seedlings with pectic fragments.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles 90024-1569.


A castor bean cDNA library has been constructed in the expression vector lambda gt11. Screening of 30,000 plaques with antibodies against casbene synthetase yielded six positive clones, from which three purified clones were obtained after sequential screening. The cDNA inserts in these clones ranged in size from 200 to 500 base pairs and were shown to share homologous sequences. One of the clones (pCS4) was examined in hybrid-selected and hybrid-arrested translation experiments and shown to contain a partial sequence of the casbene synthetase coding region. Northern analysis using the pCS4 clone as a probe revealed that the total hybridizable casbene synthetase mRNA amount increased to a maximum at 6 h after treatment of seedlings with pectic fragment elicitor and then decreased steadily with almost the same kinetics as observed previously for the changes in the translatable casbene synthetase mRNA activity under these same conditions. Run-on transcription experiments were performed with nuclei isolated from castor bean seedlings at various time periods after treatment with pectic fragment elicitors. Transcription of the casbene synthetase gene was first detected at 2 h after elicitation, rose to a maximum at 5 h, and fell rapidly thereafter. These results suggest that the accumulation of casbene synthetase, and hence casbene, is governed primarily by the rate of transcription of the casbene synthetase gene during elicitation by pectic fragments.

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