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Functional analysis of the EUL lectin family in rice (Oryza sativa)

  • Tsaneva, Mariya
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2020
Ghent University Institutional Archive
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Plant lectins have been investigated from decades, nevertheless little is known about the role of the inducible lectins in abiotic stress responses and their involvement in developmental processes. Annually a huge amount of the crop yields worldwide is destroyed or heavily damaged due to drought, salinity, heat or cold stress, etc. Finding of genes that confer resistance or tolerance towards couple of stresses and positively influence characteristics such as grain amount and quality is of key importance for agriculture and food security. The present study is focused on the investigation of the stress inducible EUL lectin family in rice since rice is a staple crop for at least half of the human population and a model species for monocot research. The EUL domain is very conserved among all terrestrial plants and is the only lectin domain which is not found as part of chimerolectins. Still the functions of the EUL proteins in the cell, especially in monocots, are unknown. Consequently overexpression lines and lines for Tandem Affinity Purification (TAP) were created and qRT-PCR analyses under different abiotic stresses were performed in order to characterize this lectin family. Because of the high GC content of the genes and the stable secondary structures, optimizations were required during the cloning and qRT-PCR experiments. It was shown that EUL proteins, especially OsEULD1B and OsEULD2, are induced by the major abiotic stress hormone, ABA, drought and salinity. A detailed phylogenetic analysis was performed and the subcellular localization of the EUL proteins was investigated. Furthermore the protein-protein interactions for OsEULD1B were investigated through Pull-down/TAP technology after treatment of rice seedlings with ABA. Putative interactions with a histon protein, stress related proteins and ribosomal proteins were identified. This research gives some insight in the stress inducibility of the EUL family and provides a good starting point for further studies to unravel the function of EULs under stress conditions, and their potential for crop protection and improvement.

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