Study of ribosome-inactivating proteins in rice

Ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs) are a class of cytotoxic enzymes that are capable of halting protein synthesis by irreversible modification of ribosomes. These proteins are present in bacteria, fungi and insects; but are especially prevalent in the plant kingdom. RIPs can offer plant protection against viruses, fungi, and insects. At present, the physiological importance of RIPs is not fully elucidated. Recently, 38 RIP sequences were identified in the genome sequence of Oryza sativa. This project aims to study the biological activity (N-glycosidase activity, toxicity for plants and pathogens) of several RIPs. Moreover, the physiological role of these proteins in the biotic and abiotic stress response of plants is investigated.