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Brazilian Journal of Botany

Print version ISSN 0100-8404On-line version ISSN 1806-9959


ENEAS-FILHO, JOAQUIM; SUDERIO, FABRÍCIO BONFIM; GOMES-FILHO, ENÉAS  and  PRISCO, JOSÉ TARQUÍNIO. Multiple forms of cotyledonary b-galactosidases from Vigna unguiculata quiescent seeds. Rev. bras. Bot. [online]. 2000, vol.23, n.1, pp.69-76. ISSN 0100-8404.

Cotyledonary b-galactosidases were isolated and partially purified from Pitiúba cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) quiescent seeds. The purification steps consisted of precipitation of the crude extract with ammonium sulphate in the range of 20-60% saturation, acid precipitation, DEAE-Sephadex ion-exchange chromatography and Lactosyl-Sepharose affinity chromatography. This purification process gave rise to three b-galactosidases-rich fractions: b-gal I, b-gal II and b-gal III, which were purified about 5, 509, and 62 fold, respectively. They reached maximal enzyme activity at different pH ranges: 3.5-4.5 for b-gal I, 3.0-3.5 for b-gal II, and 3.0-4.0 for b-gal III. Their maximal activities were reached when the temperature of the assay medium was 60° C, and preincubation of the enzymes at different temperatures has shown that they were heat-stable up to 50° C. There were no significant differences among the partially purified enzymes as far as their response to the different effectors tested, except for Mn2+ and EDTA, which affected differently b-gal I, b-gal II, and b-gal III. They were slightly affected by Mg2+, Ca2+, Zn2+, Co2+, tartarate, molybdate, glucose, and lactose, strongly inhibited by Cu2+ and galactose, and inactivated by Hg2+. These chemical and physical properties are similar to the ones found for other plant b-galactosidases. Although through this process of purification three isoforms of this enzyme were obtained, isoelectric focusing in polyacrylamide slab gel of these enzyme-proteins suggest that cotyledons of Pitiúba cowpea quiescent seeds possess four isoforms of b-galactosidases.

Keywords : Cotyledons; cowpea; enzyme purification; quiescent seeds.

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