Gene coevolution and regulation lock cyclic plant defence peptides to their targets

Gilding, Edward K., Jackson, Mark A., Poth, Aaron G., Henriques, Sonia Troeira, Prentis, Peter J., Mahatmanto, Tunjung and Craik, David J. (2015) Gene coevolution and regulation lock cyclic plant defence peptides to their targets. New Phytologist, 210 2: 717-730. doi:10.1111/nph.13789

Author Gilding, Edward K.
Jackson, Mark A.
Poth, Aaron G.
Henriques, Sonia Troeira
Prentis, Peter J.
Mahatmanto, Tunjung
Craik, David J.
Title Gene coevolution and regulation lock cyclic plant defence peptides to their targets
Journal name New Phytologist   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1469-8137
Publication date 2015-12-15
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/nph.13789
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 210
Issue 2
Start page 717
End page 730
Total pages 14
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
• Plants have evolved many strategies to protect themselves from attack, including peptide toxins that are ribosomally synthesized and thus adaptable directly by genetic polymorphisms. Certain toxins in Clitoria ternatea (butterfly pea) are cyclic cystine-knot peptides of c. 30 residues, called cyclotides, which have co-opted the plant's albumin-1 gene family for their production. How butterfly pea albumin-1 genes were commandeered and how these cyclotides are utilized in defence remain unclear. The role of cyclotides in host plant ecology and biotechnological applications requires exploration.

• We characterized the sequence diversity and expression dynamics of precursor and processing proteins implicated in butterfly pea cyclotide biosynthesis by expression profiling through RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq). Peptide-enriched extracts from various organs were tested for activity against insect-like membranes and the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

• We found that the evolution and deployment of cyclotides involved their diversification to exhibit different chemical properties and expression between organs facing different defensive challenges. Cyclotide-enriched fractions from soil-contacting organs were effective at killing nematodes, whereas similar enriched fractions from aerial organs contained cyclotides that exhibited stronger interactions with insect-like membrane lipids.

• Cyclotides are employed as versatile and combinatorial mediators of defence in C. ternatea and have specialized to affect different classes of attacking organisms.
Keyword Albumin
Clitoria ternatea (butterfly pea)
Defence peptide
Gene co-option
Gene expansion
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
Institute for Molecular Bioscience - Publications
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