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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1938; doi:10.3390/ijms18091938

Investigation of Antimicrobial Peptide Genes Associated with Fungus and Insect Resistance in Maize

Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA
USDA-ARS, Corn Host Plant Resistance Research Unit, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 August 2017 / Revised: 4 September 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Defense Genes Against Biotic Stresses)
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Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are small defense proteins present in various organisms. Major groups of AMPs include beta-barrelin, hevein, knottin, lipid transfer protein (LTP), thionin, defensin, snakin, and cyclotide. Most plant AMPs involve host plant resistance to pathogens such as fungi, viruses, and bacteria, whereas a few plant AMPs from the cyclotide family carry insecticidal functions. In this research, a genome-wide investigation on antimicrobial peptide genes in maize genome was conducted. AMPs previously identified from various plant species were used as query sequences for maize genome data mining. Thirty-nine new maize AMPs were identified in addition to seven known maize AMPs. Protein sequence analysis revealed 10 distinguishable maize AMP groups. Analysis of mRNA expression of maize AMP genes by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) revealed different expression patterns in a panel of 10 maize inbred lines. Five maize AMP genes were found significantly associated with insect or fungus resistance. Identification of maize antimicrobial peptide genes will facilitate the breeding of host plant resistance and improve maize production. View Full-Text
Keywords: plant antimicrobial peptides; defensin; hevein; snakin; cyclotide; maize; host plant resistance plant antimicrobial peptides; defensin; hevein; snakin; cyclotide; maize; host plant resistance

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Noonan, J.; Williams, W.P.; Shan, X. Investigation of Antimicrobial Peptide Genes Associated with Fungus and Insect Resistance in Maize. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1938.

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