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Overexpression of VviPGIP1 and NtCAD14 in Tobacco Screened Using Glycan Microarrays Reveals Cell Wall Reorganisation in the Absence of Fungal Infection

Lookup NU author(s): Professor William WillatsORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


The expression of Vitis vinifera polygalacturonase inhibiting protein 1 (VviPGIP1) in Nicotiana tabacum has been linked to modifications at the cell wall level. Previous investigations have shown an upregulation of the lignin biosynthesis pathway and reorganisation of arabinoxyloglucan composition. This suggests cell wall tightening occurs, which may be linked to defence priming responses. The present study used a screening approach to test four VviPGIP1 and four NtCAD14 overexpressing transgenic lines for cell wall alterations. Overexpressing the tobacco-derived cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (NtCAD14) gene is known to increase lignin biosynthesis and deposition. These lines, particularly PGIP1 expressing plants, have been shown to lead to a decrease in susceptibility towards grey rot fungus Botrytis cinerea. In this study the aim was to investigate the cell wall modulations that occurred prior to infection, which should highlight potential priming phenomena and phenotypes. Leaf lignin composition and relative concentration of constituent monolignols were evaluated using pyrolysis gas chromatography. Significant concentrations of lignin were deposited in the stems but not the leaves of NtCAD14 overexpressing plants. Furthermore, no significant changes in monolignol composition were found between transgenic and wild type plants. The polysaccharide modifications were quantified using gas chromatography (GC–MS) of constituent monosaccharides. The major leaf polysaccharide and cell wall protein components were evaluated using comprehensive microarray polymer profiling (CoMPP). The most significant changes appeared at the polysaccharide and protein level. The pectin fraction of the transgenic lines had subtle variations in patterning for methylesterification epitopes for both VviPGIP1 and NtCAD14 transgenic lines versus wild type. Pectin esterification levels have been linked to pathogen defence in the past. The most marked changes occurred in glycoprotein abundance for both the VviPGIP1 and NtCAD14 lines. Epitopes for arabinogalactan proteins (AGPs) and extensins were notably altered in transgenic NtCAD14 tobacco.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Weiller F, Gerber L, Trygg J, Fangel JU, Willats WGTW, Driouich A, Vivier MA, Moore JP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Vaccines

Year: 2020

Volume: 8

Issue: 3

Online publication date: 15/07/2020

Acceptance date: 14/07/2020

Date deposited: 17/12/2020

ISSN (electronic): 2076-393X

Publisher: MDPI AG


DOI: 10.3390/vaccines8030388


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Funder referenceFunder name
IWBT-P 09/01
IWBT P14/03
TP 13081327560