Identification of disease response genes expressed in Gossypium hirsutum upon infection with the wilt pathogen Verticillium dahliae

M K Hill, K J Lyon, B R Lyon
Plant Molecular Biology 1999, 40 (2): 289-96
Verticillium wilt is a vascular disease of cotton (Gossypium spp.) caused by the fungal pathogen Verticillium dahliae. To begin to understand the molecular mechanisms of the disease response in cotton cultivars that display superior wilt tolerance, such as Gossypium hirsutum cv. Sicala V-1, a cDNA library was constructed with mRNA isolated from root tissue of Sicala V-1, 24 h after inoculation with V. dahliae. The library was screened by a differential screening technique which was successful in identifying differences in gene expression between uninfected and V. dahliae-infected G. hirsutum root tissue. Among the differentially expressed clones, 51% represented up-regulated genes which had the potential to be involved in the defence response of G. hirsutum. The temporal expression patterns of nine suspected defence response genes were examined by northern blot analysis at several time intervals after inoculation with V. dahliae. The rapid increase in mRNA transcripts corresponding to each of these clones upon infection suggests a role for these genes in the defence response of G. hirsutum. Genes not previously associated with the defence response of the cotton plant, such as those for a 14-3-3-like protein and pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins, have been identified together with presumably novel genes, for which a definite function could not be ascribed.

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