Novel β-1,3-, 1,6-oligoglucan elicitor from Alternaria alternata 102 for defense responses in tobacco

Tomonori Shinya, Rozenn Ménard, Ikuko Kozone, Hideaki Matsuoka, Naoto Shibuya, Serge Kauffmann, Ken Matsuoka, Mikako Saito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


A novel elicitor that induces chitinases in tobacco BY-2 cells was isolated from Alternaria alternata 102. Six other fungi, including A. alternata IFO 6587, could not induce, or weakly induce chitinase activity. The purified elicitor was soluble in 75% methanol and showed the chitinase-inducing activity when applied at concentrations of as low as 25 ng.mL-1. Structural determination by methylation analysis, reducing-end analysis, MALDI-TOF/MS, and NMR spectroscopy indicated that the elicitor was a mixture of β-1,3-, 1,6-oligoglucans mostly with a degree of polymerization of between 8 and 17. Periodate oxidation of the elicitor suggested that the 1,6-linked and nonreducing terminal residues are essential for the elicitor activity. Further analysis of the elicitor responses in BY-2 cells indicated that the activity of this β-1,3-, 1,6-glucan elicitor was about 1000 times more potent than that of laminarin, which is a known elicitor of defense responses in tobacco. Analyzing the expression of defense-related genes indicated that a phenylalanine ammonia-lyase gene and a coumaroyl-CoA O-methyltransferase gene were transiently expressed by this β-1,3-, 1,6-glucan elicitor. The elicitor induced a weak oxidative burst but did not induce cell death in the BY-2 cells. In the tissue of tobacco plants, this β-1,3-, 1,6-glucan elicitor induced the expression of basic PR-3 genes, the phenylpropanoid pathway genes, and the sesquiterpenoid pathway genes. In comparison with laminarin and laminarin sulfate, which are reported to be potent elicitors of defense responses in tobacco, the expression pattern of genes induced by the purified β-1,3-, 1,6-glucan elicitor was more similar to that induced by laminarin than to that induced by laminarin sulfate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2421-2431
Number of pages11
JournalFEBS Journal
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Alternaria alternata
  • BY-2 cells
  • Chitinase
  • Elicitor
  • β-1,3-, 1,6-glucan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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