A cDNA encoding a 14-3-3 protein was isolated from white spruce. The corresponding polypeptide contains several motifs that are conserved in this type of protein and is predicted to be 260 amino acids in length. Multiple banding in Southern blot analysis suggests that the gene encoding this cDNA is, in fact, part of a small family of genes. Wounding and chitosan treatment of spruce plants followed by Northern blot analysis indicates that these stimuli caused the accumulation of 14-3-3 mRNA. In addition, cell suspension cultures treated with methyl jasmonate showed up-regulation of 14-3-3-encoding mRNA. Chitosan and methyl jasmonate are both signalling molecules in the activation of plant defense response genes. Therefore, our results suggest a possible role for this 14-3-3 protein in the pathogen defense response of coniferous trees.
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