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Plant β-1,3-glucanases: their biological functions and transgenic expression against phytopathogenic fungi

Balasubramanian, Vaiyapuri, Vashisht, Divya, Cletus, Jean, Sakthivel, Natarajan
Biotechnology letters 2012 v.34 no.11 pp. 1983-1990
alfalfa, antifungal proteins, barley, beta-glucanase, cell division, crops, flowering, gene expression, peroxidases, plant pathogenic fungi, seed maturation, soybeans, tobacco, transgenes, wheat
β-1,3-Glucanases are abundant in plants and have been characterized from a wide range of species. They play key roles in cell division, trafficking of materials through plasmodesmata, in withstanding abiotic stresses and are involved in flower formation through to seed maturation. They also defend plants against fungal pathogens either alone or in association with chitinases and other antifungal proteins. They are grouped in the PR-2 family of pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins. Use of β-1,3-glucanase genes as transgenes in combination with other antifungal genes is a plausible strategy to develop durable resistance in crop plants against fungal pathogens. These genes, sourced from alfalfa, barley, soybean, tobacco, and wheat have been co-expressed along with other antifungal proteins, such as chitinases, peroxidases, thaumatin-like proteins and α-1-purothionin, in various crop plants with promising results that are discussed in this review.