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      Identification of expression profiles of tapping panel dryness (TPD) associated genes from the latex of rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis Muell. Arg.).

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      Expressed Sequence Tags, Gene Expression Profiling, Gene Expression Regulation, Plant, Gene Library, Genes, Plant, physiology, Hevea, genetics, metabolism, Latex, Nucleic Acid Hybridization, RNA, Messenger, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction

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          Abstract

          Tapping panel dryness (TPD) occurrence in high latex yielding rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) is characterized by the partial or complete cessation of latex flow upon tapping leading to severe loss in natural rubber production around the world. The goal of this study was to identify genes whose mRNA transcript levels are differentially regulated in rubber tree during the onset of TPD. To isolate TPD responsive genes, two cDNA libraries (forward and reverse) from total RNA isolated from latex of healthy and TPD trees were constructed using suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) method. In total, 1,079 EST clones were obtained from two cDNA libraries and screened by reverse Northern blot analysis. Screening results revealed that about 352 clones were differentially regulated and they were selected for sequencing. Based on the nucleotide sequence data, the putative functions of cDNA clones were predicted by BLASTX/BLASTN analysis. Among these, 64 were genes whose function had been previously identified while the remaining clones were genes with either unknown protein function or insignificant similarity to other protein/DNA/EST sequences in existing databases. RT-PCR analysis was carried out to validate the up-regulated genes from both the libraries. Among them, two genes were strongly down-regulated in TPD trees. The level of mRNA transcripts of these two genes was further examined by conventional Northern and RT-PCR analysis. Results indicated that the expression level of two genes was significantly lower in TPD trees compared to healthy trees. Many TPD associated genes were also up-regulated in TPD trees suggesting that they may be involved in triggering programmed cell death (PCD) during the onset of TPD syndrome. The results presented here demonstrate that SSH technique provides a powerful complementary approach for the identification of TPD related genes from rubber tree.

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