Journal Article

Cloning of a <i>Cicer arietinum</i> β-Galactosidase with Pectin-Degrading Function

Rocío Esteban, Berta Dopico, Francisco J. Muñoz, Silvia Romo, Ignacio Martín and Emilia Labrador

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 44, issue 7, pages 718-725
Published in print July 2003 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online July 2003 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:
Cloning of a Cicer arietinum β-Galactosidase with Pectin-Degrading Function

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  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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The cDNA clone (CanBGal-3) encoding a cell wall pectin-degrading β-galactosidase (βIII-Gal) from Cicer arietinum L. cv. Castellana has been identified. The identification was carried out by comparing the deduced amino acid sequences of several isolated chickpea β-galactosidase clones with the purified βIII-Gal protein sequence. The expression pattern of the gene corresponding to CanBGal-3 was in concordance with the fluctuations of the enzyme βIII-Gal in different seedling organs, being specific to elongating organs such as epicotyls and roots. Transformation of Solanum tuberosum plants with the chickpea CanBGal-3 clone indicated that the β-galactosidase encoded by this clone is a pectin-degrading enzyme. The authors propose an important role for chickpea βIII-Gal in pectin degradation in cell walls of vegetative organs such as epicotyls and roots. The degradation of galactan carried out by this enzyme may determine structural changes and affect cell wall porosity. It is suggested that the increase in the size of cell wall pores could permit access of other cell wall-modifying enzymes to their substrate.

Keywords: Keywords: Cicer arietinum — Elongation — Epicotyls — Galactosidases — Growth.; Abbreviation: βIII-Gal, βIII-galactosidase.

Journal Article.  5885 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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