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Characterization of the phenylalanine ammonia lyase gene from the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis Müll. Arg.) and differential response during Rigidoporus microporus infection

Porntip Sangsil1,2, Charassri Nualsri1, Natthakorn Woraathasin1, Korakot Nakkanong1,2*

1 Department of Plant Science, Faculty of Natural Resources, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90112, Thailand

2 Center of Excellence on Agricultural Biotechnology (AG-BIO/PERDO-CHE), Bangkok, 10900, Thailand

*Corresponding address:
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Received: June 17, 2016
Accepted: October 28, 2016

Abstract: Phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) is a specific branch point enzyme of primary and secondary metabolism. It plays a key role in plant development and defense mechanisms. Phenylalanine ammonia lyase from Hevea brasiliensis (HbPAL) presented a complete open reading frame (ORF) of 2,145 bp with 721 encoded amino acids. The sequence alignment indicated that the amino acid sequence of HbPAL shared a high identity with PAL genes found in other plants. Phylogenetic tree analysis indicated that HbPAL was more closely related to PALs in Manihot esculenta and Jatropha curcas than to those from other plants. Transcription pattern analysis indicated that HbPAL was constitutively expressed in all tissues examined, most highly in young leaves. The HbPAL gene was evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) after infection with Rigidoporus microporus at 0, 12, 24, 48, 72 and 96 hours post inoculation. The expression patterns of the PAL gene differed among the three rubber clones used in the study. The transcription level of the white root rot disease tolerant clone, PB5/51 increased sharply during the latter stages of infection, while it was relatively subdued in the white root rot disease susceptible clones, RRIM600 and BPM24. These results suggest that the HbPAL gene may play a role in the molecular defense response of H. brasiliensis to pathogen attack and could be used as a selection criterion for disease tolerance.

Key words: gene expression, Hevea brasiliensis, phenylalanine ammonia lyase, Rigidoporus microporus

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