Czech Journal of Genetics and Plant Breeding, vol.52, no.3, pp.94-100, 2016 (SCI-Expanded)
Plant lectins have become efficient sources of insect resistance in crops. The present study was conducted to identify, amplify, clone and characterize the plant lectin gene GNA. The lectin, present in Galanthus nivalis (snowdrop), is an agglutinin toxic to hemiptera. The attempt was made to elucidate the relationship of the lectin gene trGNA (GNA isolated and characterized from Turkey) with other previously cloned lectins having insecticidal activity and to ensure the presence of the conserved mannose-binding region/site in the gene sequence. The full-length cDNA of trGNA was 477 bp that contained a 333 bp open reading frame encoding 157 amino acid proteins with 23 amino acids of signal peptide. BLAST results showed that trGNA has 89–97% similarity with previously reported GNA sequences while it has 84–96% similarity with earlier reported GNA protein sequences. No intron was detected within the region of genomic sequence corresponding to trGNA full-length cDNA. According to the search results from the NCBI (National Centrer for Biotechnology Information database), trGNA from Galanthus nivalis is most similar to the previously reported lectin sequences of Narcissus tazetta with a similarity percentage of 87%. The obtained results are useful for engineering of plants with enhanced insecticidal activity against chewing and sucking insects, causing crop pests. In addition, medical application of lectins may also be considered.