Tissue-Specific Differential Expression of Two β-carbonic Anhydrases in Leucaena leucocephala Under Abiotic Stress Conditions

Archana Pal, Dulal Borthakur


Besides carbon fixation in plants, β-carbonic anhydrases (β-CAs) have been shown to be involved in plant adaptation against some abiotic stress conditions. The objective of this research was to determine the expression levels of two isoforms of β-CAs under various stress conditions in different tissues of Leucaena leucocephala, a highly stress-tolerant tree-legume of tropics. The cDNAs for two β-CAs isoforms, one chloroplastic (cacp) and other cytoplasmic (cacyt) were isolated. These isoforms have 79% similarities at amino acid level, and their secondary structures, active site residues including zinc ligands, and the three-dimensional (3D) quaternary structures were found to be highly conserved and similar to those of the β-CA from Pisum sativum, which is structurally well-characterized. The 3D-model of the two leucaena β-CAs predicted them as octameric proteins like the β-CA from P. sativum. The transcripts for cacp was found to be more abundant than the transcripts for cacyt in leaf and stem tissues, however the transcripts level of both β-CAs were similar in root tissues. The drought, salt, and light conditions caused up-regulation, and dark resulted down regulation of the cacp and cacyt transcripts. However, the changes in the expression levels of cacp was more pronounced than those of cacyt, except in salt-stressed root tissues, which showed more pronounced up regulation of cacyt than that of cacp. This study suggests that abiotic stress conditions affecting the photosynthesis potential of plants also affect expression of different isoforms of β-CAs from C3 plants differentially, which may contribute to plants’ survival under stress conditions.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jab.v2i2.5797


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