Organization and characterization of Cucurbita phloem lectin genes

Dwight E. Bostwick, Megan I. Skaggs, Gary A. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The phloem of pumpkin and squash contains a dimeric chitin-binding lectin called PP2 (phloem protein 2). We have isolated three genomic clones from pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima Duch.) that encoded PP2. One clone, λgPC13-1, contained two PP2 genes that were 99.8% identical over a region of 3055 nucleotides. This conserved region included 1922 bp of 5′ non-coding sequence, 844 bp of protein coding sequence (including two introns), and 289 bp of 3′ non-coding sequence. To examine the conservation of the phloem lectin within the genus Cucurbita, we analyzed nine different species for PP2, its mRNA, and the genes that encode PP2. DNA blot analysis indicated that each species contained genes that encoded PP2, however, there was considerable restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) among the species. PP2 gene copy number reconstructions indicated that PP2 is encoded by a small gene family (two to eight genes). Although a high level of PP2 DNA polymorphism existed among species, a single mRNA (ca. 1 kb) was detected in each species. PP2, affinity-purified from the vascular exudate of each species, reacted with PP2-specific antibodies; five species contained a single PP2 polypeptide while four species contained two PP2 polypeptides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)887-897
Number of pages11
JournalPlant molecular biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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