Temporal and ontogenetic aspects of protein induction in foliage of the tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum

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Damage to foliage of the tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum, causes the induction of proteinase inhibitors and of the oxidative enzymes polyphenol oxidase, peroxidase, and lipoxygenase. The time courses of induction of these proteins by feeding of two caterpillar species (Manduca sexta and Helicoverpa zea) were studied in a series of experiments. In another series of experiments, the effects of plant age on the inducibility of these proteins were studied. In the time course experiments, induction of proteinase inhibitors and oxidative enzymes in the damaged leaflet was rapid, with higher protein activities evident in damaged leaflets within 12-24 h of damage, depending on the enzyme and the species of insect used to damage the plant. Systemic induction of proteinase inhibitors was also rapid, but systemic induction of polyphenol oxidase was delayed relative to systemic induction of proteinase inhibitors, possibly because high constitutive polyphenol oxidase activities obscured expression of systemic induction at earlier time points. Lipoxygenase and peroxidase were not induced systemically, Induction of all proteins persisted for at least 21 days. In the phenology experiments, inducibility of all proteins decreased in magnitude and was less consistent as plants aged. The results of these experiments exemplify the numerous constraints on induction in tomato plants. Knowledge of these physiological constraints is important to an understanding of the ecological role and causal basis of induced resistance. Copyright © 1996 Elsevier Science Ltd.

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Biochemical Systematics and Ecology

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