Polygalacturonase-inhibiting protein accumulates in Phaseolus vulgaris L. in response to wounding, elicitors and fungal infection

Carl W. Bergmann*, Yuki Ito, Darrell Singer, Peter Albersheim, Alan G. Darvill, Nicole Benhamou, Laurence Nuss, Giovanni Salvi, Felice Cervone, Giulia De Lorenzo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


Polygalacturonase-inhibiting protein (PGIP) is a cell wall-associated protein that specifically binds to and inhibits the activity of fungal endopolygalacturonases. The Phaseolus vulgaris gene encoding PGIP has been cloned and characterized. Using a fragment of the cloned pgip gene as a probe in Northern blot experiments, it is demonstrated that the pgip mRNA accumulates in suspension-cultured bean cells following addition of elicitor-active oligogalacturonides or fungal glucan to the medium. Rabbit polyclonal antibodies specific for PGIP were generated against a synthetic peptide designed from the N-terminal region of PGIP; the antigenicity of the peptide was enhanced by coupling to KLH. Using the antibodies and the cloned pgip gene fragment as probes in Western and Northern blot experiments, respectively, it is shown that the levels of PGIP and its mRNA are increased in P. vulgaris hypocotyls in response to wounding or treatment with salicylic acid. Using gold-labeled goat-anti-rabbit secondary antibodies in EM studies, it has also been demonstrated that, in bean hypocotyls infected with Colletotrichum lindemuthianum, the level of PGIP preferentially increases in those cells immediately surrounding the infection site. The data support the hypothesis that synthesis of PGIP constitutes an active defense mechanism of plants that is elicited by signal molecules known to induce plant defense genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-634
Number of pages10
JournalPlant Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


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