García Olmedo, Francisco and Carmona Quiles, Maria Jose and Lopez Fando, J.J. and Fernandez, Jose A. and Castagnaro, Atilio and Molina Fernández, Antonio and Hernandez Lucas, Carlos and Carbonero Zalduegui, Pilar
Characterization and analysis of thionin genes.
"Plant Gene Research. Genes Involved in Plant Defense"
The general designation of thionins has been proposed for a family of homologous proteins that have been isolated from different tissues in a wide range of plant taxa and have been variously named purothionins, viscotoxins, crambins, etc. (see Garcia-Olmedo et al., 1989). The possible involvement of thionins in plant defense was first suggested, on the basis of their in vitro toxicity to plant pathogens, by Fernandez de Caleya et al., (1972). Those observations had been prompted by earlier reports concerning the antimicrobial properties of these polypeptides (Stuart and Harris, 1942; Balls and Harris, 1944). Work on the thionins, which has been actively pursued over the past half-century, has been recently reviewed in detail (Garcia-Olmedo et al., 1989). For this reason, earlier work will only be partially summarized in the present chapter, which will focus on recent developments concerning thionin genes and their potential role in plant defense mechanisms.