Cloning and characterization of a novel cysteine protease gene (HbCP1) fromHevea brasiliensis

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The full-length cDNA encoding a cysteine protease, designated HbCP1, was isolated for the first time from Hevea brasiliensis by the rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) method. HbCP1 contained a 1371 bp open reading frame encoding 457 amino acids. The deduced HbCP1 protein, which showed high identity to cysteine proteases of other plant species, was predicted to possess a putative repeat in toxin (RTX) domain at the N-terminal and a granulin (GRAN) domain at the C-terminal. Southern blot analysis indicated that the HbCP1 gene is present as a single copy in the rubber tree. Transcription pattern analysis revealed that HbCP1 had high transcription in laticifer, and low transcription in bark and leaf. The transcription of HbCP1 in latex was induced by ethylene and tapping. Cloning of the HbCP1 gene will enable us to further understand the molecular characterization of cysteine protease and its possible function in the rubber tree.

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