Canadian Forest Service Publications

Conifer Chitinases. In: Al-Mughrabi K (Ed) Plant science and biotechnology in North America: Focus on Canada II. 2011. Islam, M.A.; Sturrock, R.N.; Ekramoddoullah, A.K.M. The Americas Journal of Plant Science and Biotechnology Volume 5 Special Issue 1: 22-36.

Year: 2011

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 32522

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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Over the last two decades scientists have focused much attention on the physiological, molecular and functional biology of plant chitinases and there is considerable evidence suggest that chitinases play important roles in plant defense systems. Chitinases have also been shown to play a role in plant growth and development. Several review articles exist for chitinases of angiosperms but there is no such review for conifer chitinases, despite the economic and ecological significance of coniferous species in the world’s forests. Conifer chitinases consist of at least several classes of enzymes that are represented by small gene families. Class II (acidic) and class IV (basic) chitinases, expressed differentially over time and space, have been shown to be the major defense players in many conifer pathosystems. Class I and III chitinases are also reported in some conifers. This review discusses the current body of knowledge regarding conifer chitinases, including the molecular structure of chitinase genes and their regulation and function in conifer plants. Future potential uses for conifer chitinases as biopesticides and agents of biofuel production are also discussed.