The abundant 31-kilodalton banana pulp protein is homologous to class- III acidic chitinases

Stephanie K. Clendennen, Rodolfo López-Gómez, Miguel Gómez-Lim, Charles J. Arntzen, Gregory D. May

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


We have identified and characterized the abundant protein from the pulp of banana fruit (Musa acuminata cv. Grand Nain), and have isolated a cDNA clone encoding this protein. Comparison of the amino terminal sequence of the purified 31 kDa protein (P31) suggests that it is related to plant chitinases. Western analyses utilizing rabbit anti-P31 antiserum demonstrate that this protein is pulp-specific in banana. A full-length cDNA clone homologous to class III acidic chitinase genes has been isolated from a pulp cDNA library by differential screening. The identity of this clone as encoding P31 was verified by comparisons between the amino-terminal peptide sequence and the cDNA sequence and cross-hybridization of the translation product of the cDNA clone with P31 antiserum. Northern and western blot analyses of RNA and protein isolated from banana pulp at different stages of ripening indicate that the cDNA and protein are expressed at high levels in the pulp of unripe fruit, and that their abundance decreases as the fruit ripens. Based on its expression pattern and deduced amino acid sequence and composition, we hypothesize that the physiological role of P31 is not for plant protection, but as a storage protein in banana pulp.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)613-619
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • 31 kDa pulp protein
  • Banana
  • Chitinase
  • Fruit ripening
  • Musa acuminata cv. Grand Nain
  • Musaceae
  • Storage protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture


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