The New phytologist, December 2015, Vol.208(4), pp.1188-201
The transcriptional regulation of four phylogenetically distinct members of a family of Kunitz proteinase inhibitor (KPI) genes isolated from white clover (Trifolium repens; designated Tr-KPI1, Tr-KPI2, Tr-KPI4 and Tr-KPI5) has been investigated to determine their wider functional role. The four genes displayed differential transcription during seed germination, and in different tissues of the mature plant, and transcription was also ontogenetically regulated. Heterologous over-expression of Tr-KPI1, Tr-KPI2, Tr-KPI4 and Tr-KPI5 in Nicotiana tabacum retarded larval growth of the herbivore Spodoptera litura, and an increase in the transcription of the pathogenesis-related genes PR1 and PR4 was observed in the Tr-KPI1 and Tr-KPI4 over-expressing lines. RNA interference (RNAi) knock-down lines in white clover displayed significantly altered vegetative growth phenotypes with inhibition of shoot growth and a stimulation of root growth, while knock-down of Tr-KPI1, Tr-KPI2 and Tr-KPI5 transcript abundance also retarded larval growth of S. litura. Examination of these RNAi lines revealed constitutive stress-associated phenotypes as well as altered transcription of cellular signalling genes. These results reveal a functional redundancy across members of the KPI gene family. Further, the regulation of transcription of at least one member of the family, Tr-KPI2, may occupy a central role in the maintenance of a cellular homeostasis.
Kunitz Proteinase Inhibitor (Kpi) ; Rnai Gene Silencing ; Trifolium Repens ; Insect Herbivory ; Plant Development ; White Clover ; Genes, Plant ; Multigene Family ; Phenotype ; Transcription, Genetic ; Peptide Hydrolases -- Metabolism ; Peptides -- Genetics ; Plant Proteins -- Genetics ; Trifolium -- Genetics
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