Plant Physiology and Biochemistry Identification and functional characterization of HbOsmotin from Hevea brasiliensis.pdf
Latex in the laticiferous cell network of Hevea brasiliensis tree is composed of cytoplasm that synthesizes natural rubber. Ethylene stimulation of the tree bark enhances latex production partly by prolonging the duration of latex flow during the tapping process. Here, we identified an osmotin-like cDNA sequence (HbOsmotin) from H. brasiliensis that belongs to the pathogenesis-related 5 (PR-5) gene family. The HbOsmotin protein is present in the lutoids of latex in H. brasiliensis, whereas in onion epidermal cells, this protein is predominantly distributed around the cell wall, suggesting that it may be secreted from the cytoplasm. We investigated the effects of exogenous ethylene on HbOsmotin transcription and protein accumulation in rubber latex, and further determined the protein function after osmotic stress in Arabidopsis. In regularly tapped trees, HbOsmotin expression was drastically inhibited in rubber latex after tapping, although the expression was subsequently recovered by ethylene stimulation. However, in virgin plants that had never been tapped, exogenous ethylene application slightly decreased HbOsmotin expression. HbOsmotin overexpression in Arabidopsis showed that HbOsmotin reduced the osmotic stress tolerance of the plant, which likely occurred by raising the water potential. These data indicated that HbOsmotin may contribute to osmotic regulation in laticiferous cells.