Overexpression of 3-deoxy-7-phosphoheptulonate synthase gene from Gossypium hirsutum enhances Arabidopsis resistance to Verticillium wilt

Jun Yang, Lianlian Ji, Xingfen Wang, Yan Zhang, Lizhu Wu, Yingna Yang, Zhiying Ma
Plant Cell Reports 2015, 34 (8): 1429-41
Expression of DHS1 in cotton is induced upon infection by Verticillium dahliae , and overexpression of GhDHS1 endows transgenic Arabidopsis plants excellent Verticillium resistance. Verticillium wilt is caused by a soil-borne fungus Verticillium dahliae. Resistance in most cotton cultivars is either scarce or unavailable, making Verticillium wilt a major obstacle in cotton production. Here, we identified a 3-deoxy-7-phosphoheptulonate synthase (DHS, EC gene from Gossypium hirsutum, named GhDHS1. Its 1620 bp open reading frame encodes a putative 59.4 kDa protein. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that GhDHS1 is clustered in a clade with potato and tomato DHSs that can be induced by wounding and elicitors, respectively. Expression analysis demonstrated that GhDHS1 is constitutively expressed in cotton roots and stems, but transcripts are rare or non-existent in the leaves. Subcellular localization showed that GhDHS1 occurs in the plastids. When plants of three cultivars were inoculated with V. dahliae, DHS1 expression was more significantly up-regulated in the roots of resistant G. barbadense cv. Pima90-53 and G. hirsutum cv. Jimian20 than in the susceptible G. hirsutum cv. Han208. This suggested that DHS1 is involved in the cotton resistance to Verticillium wilt. Furthermore, GhDHS1 overexpressing transgenic lines of Arabidopsis were developed via Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation. Compared with the untransformed WT (wild type), these transgenic plants showed excellent Verticillium wilt resistance with a significantly lower disease index. The overexpressing transgenic lines also had significantly longer primary roots and greatly increased xylem areas under V. dahliae infection. Overall, our results indicate that GhDHS1 performs a role in the cotton resistance to V. dahliae and would be potential to breeding cottons of Verticillium wilt resistance.

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