Three highly similar formate dehydrogenase genes located in the vicinity of the B4 resistance gene cluster are differentially expressed under biotic and abiotic stresses in Phaseolus vulgaris.
ABSTRACT In higher plants, formate dehydrogenase (FDH, EC188.8.131.52.) catalyzes the NAD-linked oxidation of formate to CO(2), and FDH transcript accumulation has been reported after various abiotic stresses. By sequencing a Phaseolus vulgaris BAC clone encompassing a CC-NBS-LRR gene rich region of the B4 resistance gene cluster, we identified three FDH-encoding genes. FDH is present as a single copy gene in the Arabidopsis thaliana genome, and public database searches confirm that FDH is a low copy gene in plant genomes, since only 33 FDH homologs were identified from 27 plant species. Three independent prediction programs (Predotar, TargetP and Mitoprot) used on this large subset of 33 plant FDHs, revealed that mitochondrial localization of FDH might be the rule in higher plants. A phylogenetic analysis suggests a scenario of local FDH gene duplication in an ancestor of the Phaseoleae followed by another more recent duplication event after bean/soybean divergence. The expression levels of two common bean FDH genes under different treatments were investigated by quantitative RT-PCR analysis. FDH genes are differentially up-regulated after biotic and abiotic stresses (infection with the fungus Colletotrichum lindemuthianum, and dark treatment, respectively). The present study provides the first report of FDH transcript accumulation after biotic stress, suggesting the involvement of FDH in the pathogen resistance process.