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J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Oct 31;55(22):9021-6. Epub 2007 Oct 24.

The implication of xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolase (XTHs) in tomato fruit infection by Penicillium expansum Link. A.

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Dpto Biología Vegetal. Facultad de Farmacia. Universidad de Valencia. Av. Vicente Andrés Estellés s/n. 46100 Burjassot (Valencia), Spain.


In general, cell wall-degrading enzymes produced by plant pathogenic fungi are considered important pathogenicity factors. In this work, we evaluate the implication of xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolase (XTHs), a potential hemicellulosic repairing enzyme, in the infection mechanism process by the fungus. This study investigated the SlXTHs expresion and xyloglucan endotransglucosylase (XET) activity during infection of two tomato fruit cultivars by Penicillium expansum Link. A. In infected fruits, XET specific activity decreased drastically after long infection periods, 24 and 48 h for Canario and Money Maker tomato fruits, respectively. Real Time RT-PCR of eleven SlXTHs also showed a decrease in expression as the infection progressed in both tomato fruit cultivars. Results suggest that the reduction in SlXTHs expression during infection might be related with the fungus attack mechanism. We suggest a possible transcriptional control of the SlXTHs expression by the fungus, causing a decrease in XET activity and, consequently, lower xyloglucan endotransglucosylation, which changes the xyloglucan structure. These changes might increase the fruit softening and wall disassembly, facilitating the fungus colonization and the progress of the infection.

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