Differential expression of metallothionein type-2 homologues in leaves and roots of Black pepper (Piper nigrum L)


Genetics and Molecular Biology




Black pepper (Piper nigrum L.), member of the family Piperaceae is indigenous to India and is one of the most widely used spices in the world. In this paper we report the results of our attempts to identify a set of genes differentially expressed in the leaves of Piper nigrum, which could facilitate targeted engineering of this valuable crop. A PCR-based Suppression Subtractive Hybridization (SSH) technique was used to generate a leaf-specific subtracted cDNA library of Piper nigrum. A tester population of leaf cDNA was subtracted with a root derived driver cDNA. The efficiency of subtraction was confirmed by PCR analysis using the housekeeping gene actin. On sequence analysis, almost 30% of the clones showed homology to metallothionein type-2 gene. The predominance of metallothionein transcripts in the leaf was further confirmed using Real-Time PCR analyses and Northern blot. The possible role of metallothionein type-2 homologues in the leaf is discussed along with the feasibility of using SSH technique for identification of more number of tissue-specific genes from Piper nigrum.

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