Proteomic and virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) Analyses reveal that gossypol, brassinosteroids, and jasmonic acid contribute to the resistance of cotton to Verticillium dahliae

Wei Gao, Lu Long, Long-Fu Zhu, Li Xu, Wen-Hui Gao, Long-Qing Sun, Lin-Lin Liu, Xian-Long Zhang
Molecular & Cellular Proteomics: MCP 2013, 12 (12): 3690-703
Verticillium wilt causes massive annual losses of cotton yield, but the mechanism of cotton resistance to Verticillium dahliae is complex and poorly understood. In this study, a comparative proteomic analysis was performed in resistant cotton (Gossypium barbadense cv7124) on infection with V. dahliae. A total of 188 differentially expressed proteins were identified by mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF/TOF) analysis and could be classified into 17 biological processes based on Gene Ontology annotation. Most of these proteins were implicated in stimulus response, cellular processes and metabolic processes. Based on the proteomic analysis, several genes involved in secondary metabolism, reactive oxygen burst and phytohormone signaling pathways were identified for further physiological and molecular analysis. The roles of the corresponding genes were further characterized by employing virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS). Based on the results, we suggest that the production of gossypol is sufficient to affect the cotton resistance to V. dahliae. Silencing of GbCAD1, a key enzyme involving in gossypol biosynthesis, compromised cotton resistance to V. dahliae. Reactive oxygen species and salicylic acid signaling may be also implicated as regulators in cotton responsive to V. dahliae according to the analysis of GbSSI2, an important regulator in the crosstalk between salicylic acid and jasmonic acid signal pathways. Moreover, brassinosteroids and jasmonic acid signaling may play essential roles in the cotton disease resistance to V. dahliae. The brassinosteroids signaling was activated in cotton on inoculation with V. dahliae and the disease resistance of cotton was enhanced after exogenous application of brassinolide. Meanwhile, jasmonic acid signaling was also activated in cotton after inoculation with V. dahliae and brassinolide application. These data provide highlights in the molecular basis of cotton resistance to V. dahliae.

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