Canadian Forest Service Publications

Detection of a chitinase-like protein in the roots of Douglas-fir trees infected with Armillaria ostoyae and Phellinus weirii. 2000. Robinson, R.M.; Sturrock, R.N.; Davidson, J.J.; Ekramoddoullah, A.K.M.; Morrison, D.J. Tree Physiology 20: 493-502.

Year: 2000

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 5436

Language: English

Availability: Not available through the CFS (click for more information).

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Protein was extracted from root bark of 11- and 25-year-old interior Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) trees that were naturally infected with Armillaria ostoyae (Romagnesi) Herink. The proteins were separated by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Root bark tissue adjacent to infected areas had a significantly higher protein concentration than healthy tissue (P<0.05), whereas the protein concentration of infected tissue was consistently lower (P<0.05) than that of healthy tissue. The SDS-PAGE profiles of healthy, infected, and adjacent-to-infected root bark tissues revealed significant differences in concentrations of a 29.3-kDa protein. The N-terminal amino acid sequence of the 29.3-kDa protein displayed significant homology (P=0.013) to a basic endochitinase. Use of a polyclonal antibody raised against the 29.3-kDa putative endochitinase-like protein (ECP) indicated differences in the quantities of ECP in healthy roots compared with roots infected with A. ostoyae in 11- and 25-year-old interior Douglas-fir trees. The antibody was also used to screen for the presence of the 29.3-kDa protein in roots of 24-year-old coastal Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii) trees that were artificially inoculated with and colonized by Phellinus weirii (Murr.) Gilbn. The amount of ECP was elevated in root bark of coastal Douglas-fir in response to P. weirii infection, although in lower quantities relative to those found in the A. ostoyae-interior Douglas-fir pathosystem. The sequence homology of the ECP with a basic chitinase, together with its increased synthesis in response to two fungal pathogens, indicate a possible role for this protein in the defense of Douglas-fir against fungal pathogens.