Activation of salicylic acid metabolism and signal transduction can enhance resistance to Fusarium wilt in banana (Musa acuminata L. AAA group, cv. Cavendish)

Zhuo Wang, Caihong Jia, Jingyang Li, Suzhen Huang, Biyu Xu, Zhiqiang Jin
Functional & Integrative Genomics 2015, 15 (1): 47-62
Fusarium wilt caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubens (Foc) is the most serious disease that attacks banana plants. Salicylic acid (SA) can play a key role in plant-microbe interactions. Our study is the first to examine the role of SA in conferring resistance to Foc TR4 in banana (Musa acuminata L. AAA group, cv. Cavendish), which is the greatest commercial importance cultivar in Musa. We used quantitative real-time reverse polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) to analyze the expression profiles of 45 genes related to SA biosynthesis and downstream signaling pathways in a susceptible banana cultivar (cv. Cavendish) and a resistant banana cultivar (cv. Nongke No. 1) inoculated with Foc TR4. The expression of genes involved in SA biosynthesis and downstream signaling pathways was suppressed in a susceptible cultivar and activated in a resistant cultivar. The SA levels in each treatment arm were measured using high-performance liquid chromatography. SA levels were decreased in the susceptible cultivar and increased in the resistant cultivar. Finally, we examined the contribution of exogenous SA to Foc TR4 resistance in susceptible banana plants. The expression of genes involved in SA biosynthesis and signal transduction pathways as well as SA levels were significantly increased. The results suggest that one reason for banana susceptibility to Foc TR4 is that expression of genes involved in SA biosynthesis and SA levels are suppressed and that the induced resistance observed in banana against Foc TR4 might be a case of salicylic acid-dependent systemic acquired resistance.

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