Ethylene-Regulated Gene Expression: Molecular Cloning of the Genes Encoding an Endochitinase from Phaseolus Vulgaris

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A full-length copy of bean leaf chitinase mRNA has been cloned. The 1146-base-pair insert of pCH18 encodes the 27-residue amino-terminal signal peptide of the precursor and 301 residues of the mature protein. Utilizing pCH18 as a hybridization probe, we have shown that the increase in translatable chitinase mRNA seen upon ehylene treatment of bean seedlings is due to a 75- to 100-fold increase in steady-state mRNA levels. Southern blot analysis of bean genomic DNA revealed that chitinase is encoded by a small, multigene family consisting of approximately four members. From our nucleotide sequence analysis of five additional chitinase cDNA clones, it appears that at least two of these genes are expressed. Three of the bean chitinase genes have been isolated from a Sau3A genomic library and partially characterized.



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