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A L-type lectin gene is involved in the response to hormonal treatment and water deficit in Volkamer lemon

Vieira D.D.S.S., Emiliani G., Bartolini P., Podda A., Centritto M., Luro F., Del Carratore R., Morillon R., Gesteira A.S., Maserti B.E.. 2017. Journal of Plant Physiology, 218 : p. 94-99.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jplph.2017.07.020

Combination of biotic and abiotic stress is a major challenge for crop and fruit production. Thus, identification of genes involved in cross-response to abiotic and biotic stress is of great importance for breeding superior genotypes. Lectins are glycan-binding proteins with a functions in the developmental processes as well as in the response to biotic and abiotic stress. In this work, a lectin like gene, namely ClLectin1, was characterized in Volkamer lemon and its expression was studied in plants exposed to either water stress, hormonal elicitors (JA, SA, ABA) or wounding to understand whether this gene may have a function in the response to multiple stress combination. Results showed that ClLectin1 has 100% homology with a L-type lectin gene from C. sinensis and the in silico study of the 5'UTR region showed the presence of cis-responsive elements to SA, DRE2 and ABA. ClLectin1 was rapidly induced by hormonal treatments and wounding, at local and systemic levels, suggesting an involvement in defence signalling pathways and a possible role as fast detection biomarker of biotic stress. On the other hand, the induction of ClLectin1 by water stress pointed out a role of the gene in the response to drought. The simultaneous response of ClLectin1 expression to water stress and SA treatment could be further investigated to assess whether a moderate drought stress may be useful to improve citrus performance by stimulating the SA-dependent response to biotic stress.

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