Investigation of Antimicrobial Peptide Genes in Maize (Zea Mays) Inbred Lines Resistant to Lepidoptera Larvae Feeding and Fungus Infection
Noonan, Joseph Ali
Williams, W. Paul
Present throughout all classes of life, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) confer defense against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and insects. Identifying maize AMPs would provide breeders with a new defense resource. Here, the investigation of maize AMPs is reported. The distribution of AMPs within a panel of ten Mississippi maize inbred lines with varying resistance to Lepidoptera larvae feeding and Aspergillus infection is explored to characterize their observed resistances. Homology data-mining with two comprehensive AMP databases revealed 88 unique maize AMP protein sequences across 81 genes in the MaizeGDB B73 genome assembly. AMP-related polymorphic sites were identified using genomic primers. Analyses with qRT-PCR revealed 8 differentially expressed maize AMP genes. Computational 3D models of AMPs are limited, and models of these eight maize AMP genes were predicted. Two-dimensional electrophoresis gels were used to contrast protein profiles of inbreds with varying resistance to identify regions related to AMPs and other defense-related protein.