[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gossypium hirsutum contributes the most production of cotton fibre, but G. barbadense is valued for its better comprehensive resistance and superior fibre properties. However, the allotetraploid genome of G. barbadense has not been comprehensively analysed. Here we present a high-quality assembly of the 2.57 gigabase genome of G. barbadense, including 80,876 protein-coding genes. The double-sized genome of the A (or At) (1.50 Gb) against D (or Dt) (853 Mb) primarily resulted from the expansion of Gypsy elements, including Peabody and Retrosat2 subclades in the Del clade, and the Athila subclade in the Athila/Tat clade. Substantial gene expansion and contraction were observed and rich homoeologous gene pairs with biased expression patterns were identified, suggesting abundant gene sub-functionalization occurred by allopolyploidization. More specifically, the CesA gene family has adapted differentially temporal expression patterns, suggesting an integrated regulatory mechanism of CesA genes from At and Dt subgenomes for the primary and secondary cellulose biosynthesis of cotton fibre in a "relay race"-like fashion. We anticipate that the G. barbadense genome sequence will advance our understanding the mechanism of genome polyploidization and underpin genome-wide comparison research in this genus.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Scientific Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Somatic embryogenesis (SE) is an efficient tool for the propagation of plant species and is also a useful model for studying the regulatory networks in embryo development. However, the regulatory networks underlying the transition from non-embryogenic callus to somatic embryos during SE remain poorly understood. Here, we describe a Gossypium hirsutum CASEIN KINASE I gene, GhCKI, which is a novel key regulatory factor that strongly affects SE. Overexpressing GhCKI halted the formation of embryoids and plant regeneration due to a block in the transition from non-embryogenic callus to somatic embryos. In contrast, defective GhCKI in plants facilitated SE. To better understand the mechanism by which GhCKI regulates SE, the regulatory network was analyzed. A direct upstream negative regulator protein, Gossypium hirsutum LEAFY COTYLEDON1 (GhLEC1), was identified to be targeted to a cis-element, CTTTTC, in the promoter of GhCKI. Moreover, GhCKI interacted with and phosphorylated GhTCP15 by coordinately regulating the expression of Gossypium hirsutum PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR4 (PIF4), finally disrupting auxin homeostasis, which led to increased cell proliferation and aborted somatic embryo formation in GhCKI-overexpressing somatic cells. Our results demonstrate a complex process of SE that is negatively regulated by GhCKI through a complex regulatory network.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Development of pathogen-resistant crops, such as fungus-resistant cotton, has significantly reduced chemical application and improved crop yield and quality. However, the mechanism of resistance to cotton pathogens such as Verticillium dahliae is still poorly understood. In this study, we characterized a cotton gene (HDTF1) that was isolated following transcriptome profiling during the resistance response of cotton to V. dahliae. HDTF1 putatively encodes a homeodomain transcription factor, and its expression was found to be down-regulated in cotton upon inoculation with V. dahliae and Botrytis cinerea. To characterise the involvement of HDTF1 in the response to these pathogens, we used virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) to generate HDTF1-silenced cotton. VIGS reduction in HDTF1 expression significantly enhanced cotton plant resistance to both pathogens. HDTF1 silencing resulted in activation of jasmonic acid (JA)-mediated signaling and JA accumulation. However, the silenced plants were not altered in the accumulation of salicylic acid (SA) or the expression of marker genes associated with SA signaling. These results suggest that HDTF1 is a negative regulator of the JA pathway, and resistance to V. dahliae and B. cinerea can be engineered by activation of JA signaling.
No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Integrative Plant Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The physiological role of a vacuolar H+-PPase (SaVP1) from an eremophyte, Sophora alopecuroid, was evaluated through overexpressing in Arabidopsis. Overexpression of SaVP1 in Arabidopsis enhanced tolerance to drought and salt stresses and resulted in the up-regulation of several K+ and Ca2+ channel/ transporters genes, which showed a function similar to that of vacuolar H+-PPase from other plants. Moreover, the transgenic plants showed higher temperature tolerance than wild type plants, and had a higher seed yield. Overexpression of SaVP1 could improve the content of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) in floral organs under high-temperature stress. Meanwhile, the application of IAA in low concentration led to higher fertility in the SaVP1-overexpressing plants under high temperature. These results indicate that SaVP1 might activate the auxin biosynthesis and signaling pathway in Arabidopsis to improve tolerance to heat. SaVP1 from an eremophyte could also be applied as a candidate gene for enhancing multiple stress tolerance in other plant species.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To understand the mechanisms of male sterility in cotton (Gossypium spp.), combined histological, biochemical and transcription analysis using RNA-Seq was carried out in the anther of the single-gene recessive genic male sterility system of male sterile line 1355A and male fertile line 1355B, which are near-isogenic lines (NILs) differing only in the fertility trait. A total of 2,446 differentially expressed genes were identified between the anthers of 1355AB lines, at three different stages of development. Cluster analysis and functional assignment of differentially expressed genes revealed differences in transcription associated with pollen wall and anther development, including the metabolism of fatty acids, glucose, pectin and cellulose. Histological and biochemical analysis revealed that a major cellular defect in the 1355A was a thicker nexine, consistent with the RNA-seq data, and further gene expression studies implicated differences in fatty acids synthesis and metabolism. This study provides insight into the phenotypic characteristics and gene regulatory network of the genic male sterile line 1355A in upland cotton.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Scientific Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plant oxylipins are derived from unsaturated fatty acids and play roles in plant growth and development as well as defence. Although recent studies have revealed that fatty acid metabolism is involved in systemic acquired resistance, the precise function of oxylipins in plant defence remains unknown. Here we report a cotton P450 gene SILENCE-INDUCED STEM NECROSIS (SSN), RNAi suppression of which causes a lesion mimic phenotype. SSN is also involved in jasmonate metabolism and the response to wounding. Fatty acid and oxylipin metabolite analysis showed that SSN overexpression causes hyperaccumulation of hydroxide and ketodiene fatty acids and reduced levels of 18:2 fatty acids, whereas silencing causes an imbalance in LOX (lipoxygenase) expression and excessive hydroperoxide fatty acid accumulation. We also show that an unknown oxylipin-derived factor is a putative mobile signal required for systemic cell death and hypothesize that SSN acts as a valve to regulate HR on pathogen infection.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Nature Communications
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Verticillium wilt causes dramatic cotton yield loss in China. Although some genes or biological processes involved in the interaction between cotton and Verticillium dahliae have been identified, the molecular mechanism of cotton resistance to this disease is still poorly understood. The basic innate immune response for defence is somewhat conserved among plant species to defend themselves in complex environments, which makes it possible to characterize genes involved in cotton immunity based on information from model plants. With the availability of Arabidopsis databases, a data-mining strategy accompanied by virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) and heterologous expression were adopted in cotton and tobacco, respectively, for global screening and gene function characterization. A total of 232 Arabidopsis genes putatively involved in basic innate immunity were screened as candidate genes, and bioinformatic analysis suggested a role of these genes in the immune response. In total, 38 homologous genes from cotton were singled out to characterize their response to V. dahliae and methyl jasmonate treatment through quantitative real-time PCR. The results revealed that 24 genes were differentially regulated by pathogen inoculation, and most of these genes responded to both Verticillium infection and jasmonic acid stimuli. Furthermore, the efficiency of the strategy was illustrated by the functional identification of six candidate genes via heterologous expression in tobacco or a knock-down approach using VIGS in cotton. Functional categorization of these 24 differentially expressed genes as well as functional analysis suggest that reactive oxygen species, salicylic acid- and jasmonic acid-signalling pathways are involved in the cotton disease resistance response to V. dahliae. Our data demonstrate how information from model plants can allow the rapid translation of information into non-model species without complete genome sequencing, via high-throughput screening and functional identification of target genes based on data-mining and VIGS.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Journal of Experimental Botany
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plants have evolved an elaborate signaling network to ensure an appropriate level of immune response to meet the differing demands of developmental processes. Previous research has demonstrated that DELLA proteins physically interact with JAZ1 and dynamically regulate the interaction of the gibberellic acid (GA) and jasmonic acid (JA) signaling pathways. However, whether and how the JAZ1-DELLA regulatory node is regulated at the transcriptional level in plants under normal growth conditions or during pathogen infection is not known. Here, we demonstrate multiple functions of Gossypium barbadense GbWRKY1 in the plant defense response and during development. Although GbWRKY1 expression is induced rapidly by MeJA and infection by Verticillium dahliae, our results show that GbWRKY1 is a negative regulator of the JA-mediated defense response and plant resistance to the pathogens Botrytis cinerea and V. dahliae. Under normal growth conditions, GbWRKY1-overexpressing lines displayed GA-associated phenotypes, including organ elongation and early flowering, coupled with the downregulation of the putative targets of DELLA. We show that the GA-related phenotypes of GbWRKY1-overexpressing plants depend on the constitutive expression of Gossypium hirsutum GhJAZ1. We also show that GhJAZ1 can be trans-activated by GbWRKY1 through TGAC core sequences, and the adjacent sequences of this binding site are essential for binding specificity and affinity to GbWRKY1 as revealed by dual-luciferase reporter assays and electrophoretic mobility shift assays. In summary, our data suggest that GbWRKY1 is a critical regulator mediating the plant defense-to-development transition during V. dahliae infection by activating JAZ1 expression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades are highly conserved signaling modules found in all eukaryotes, and play significant roles in developmental and environmental signal transduction. In this study, a MAPK gene (GbMPK3), which showed homologous to AtMPK3 and NtWIPK, was isolated from sea-island cotton (Gossypium barbadense) and induced during multiple abiotic stress treatments including salt, cold, heat, dehydration and oxidative stress. Transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana benthamiana) with constitutively higher expression of GbMPK3 was conferred with enhanced drought tolerance, reduced water loss during drought treatment and improved plant height and survival rates after re-watering. Additionally, the gene expression levels and enzymatic activity of antioxidant enzymes were more strongly induced with depressed hydrogen peroxide accumulation in GbMPK3-overexpressing tobacco compared with wild-type under drought condition. Furthermore, observation of seed germination and leaf morphology showed that tolerance of transgenic plants to methyl viologen was improved due to increased antioxidant enzyme expression, suggesting that GbMPK3 may positively regulate drought tolerance through enhanced reactive oxygen species scavenging ability.
No preview · Article · Feb 2014 · Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Male reproduction in flowering plants is highly sensitive to high temperature (HT). To investigate molecular mechanisms of the response of cotton anthers to HT, a relatively complete comparative transcriptome analysis was performed during anther development of Gossypium hirsutum '84021' and 'H05' under normal temperature and HT conditions. Totally, 4599 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were screened; the DEGs were mainly related to epigenetic modifications, carbohydrate metabolism, and plant hormone signaling. Detailed studies showed that deficiency in S-ADENOSYL-L-HOMOCYSTEINE HYDROLASE1 (SAHH1) and the inhibition of methyltransferases contributed to genome-wide hypomethylation in 'H05', and the increased expression of histone constitution genes contributed to DNA stability in '84021'. Furthermore, HT induced expression of CASEIN KINASE I (GhCKI) in 'H05', coupled with the suppression of starch synthase activity, decreases in the glucose level during anther development, and increases in the indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) level in late-stage anthers. The same changes also were observed in Arabidopsis GhCKI overexpression lines. These results suggest that GhCKI, sugar, and auxin may be key regulators of the anther response to HT stress. Moreover, PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR GENES (PIFs), which are involved in linking sugar and auxin and are regulated by sugar, might positively regulate IAA biosynthesis in the cotton anther response to HT. Additionally, exogenous IAA application revealed that high background IAA may be a disadvantage for late-stage cotton anthers during HT stress. Overall, the linking of HT, sugar, PIFs, and IAA, together with our previously reported data on GhCKI, may provide dynamic coordination of plant anther responses to HT stress.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The SNAC1 gene belongs to the stress-related NAC superfamily of transcription factors. It was identified from rice and overexpressed in cotton cultivar YZ1 by Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation. SNAC1-overexpressing cotton plants showed more vigorous growth, especially in terms of root development, than the wild-type plants in the presence of 250 mM NaCl under hydroponic growth conditions. The content of proline was enhanced but the MDA content was decreased in the transgenic cotton seedlings under drought and salt treatments compared to the wild-type. Furthermore, SNAC1-overexpressing cotton plants also displayed significantly improved tolerance to both drought and salt stresses in the greenhouse. The performances of the SNAC1-overexpressing lines under drought and salt stress were significantly better than those of the wild-type in terms of the boll number. During the drought and salt treatments, the transpiration rate of transgenic plants significantly decreased in comparison to the wild-type, but the photosynthesis rate maintained the same at the flowering stage in the transgenic plants. These results suggested that overexpression of SNAC1 improve more tolerance to drought and salt in cotton through enhanced root development and reduced transpiration rates.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 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 cv. '7124') upon 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 (SA) 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 SA and jasmonic acid (JA) signal pathways. Moreover, brassinosteroids (BRs) and JA signaling may play essential roles in the cotton disease resistance to V. dahliae. The BR signaling was activated in cotton upon inoculation with V. dahliae and the disease resistance of cotton was enhanced after exogenous application of brassinolide (BL). Meanwhile, JA signaling was also activated in cotton after inoculation with V. dahliae and BL application. These data provide highlights in the molecular basis of cotton resistance to V. dahliae.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: H(+)-translocating inorganic pyrophosphatases (H(+)-PPase) were recognized as the original energy donors in the development of plants. A large number of researchers have shown that H(+)-PPase could be an early-originated protein that participated in many important biochemical and physiological processes. In this study we cloned 14 novel sequences from 7 eremophytes: Sophora alopecuroid (Sa), Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Gu), Glycyrrhiza inflata (Gi), Suaeda salsa (Ss), Suaeda rigida (Sr), Halostachys caspica (Hc), and Karelinia caspia (Kc). These novel sequences included 6 ORFs and 8 fragments, and they were identified as H(+)-PPases based on the typical conserved domains. Besides the identified domains, sequence alignment showed that there still were two novel conserved motifs. A phylogenetic tree was constructed, including the 14 novel H(+)-PPase amino acid sequences and the other 34 identified H(+)-PPase protein sequences representing plants, algae, protozoans and bacteria. It was shown that these 48 H(+)-PPases were classified into two groups: type I and type II H(+)-PPase. The novel 14 eremophyte H(+)-PPases were classified into the type I H(+)-PPase. The 3D structures of these H(+)-PPase proteins were predicted, which suggested that all type I H(+)-PPases from higher plants and algae were homodimers, while other type I H(+)-PPases from bacteria and protozoans and all type II H(+)-PPases were monomers. The 3D structures of these novel H(+)-PPases were homodimers except for SaVP3, which was a monomer. This regular structure could provide important evidence for the evolutionary origin and study of the relationship between the structure and function among members of the H(+)-PPase family.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Arabidopsis gene AVP1 encodes an H+-pyrophosphatase that functions as a proton pump at the vacuolar membranes, generating a proton gradient across vacuolar membranes, which serves as the driving force for many secondary transporters on vacuolar membranes such as Na+/H+-antiporters. Overexpression of AVP1 could improve drought tolerance and salt tolerance in transgenic plants, suggesting a possible way in improving drought and salt tolerance in crops. The AVP1 was therefore introduced into peanut by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Analysis of AVP1-expressing peanut indicated that AVP1-overexpression in peanut could improve both drought and salt tolerance in greenhouse and growth chamber conditions, as AVP1-overexpressing peanuts produced more biomass and maintained higher photosynthetic rates under both drought and salt conditions. In the field, AVP1-overexpressing peanuts also outperformed wild-type plants by having higher photosynthetic rates and producing higher yields under low irrigation conditions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As a second messenger, Ca(2+) plays a major role in cold induced transduction via stimulus-specific increases in [Ca(2+)]cyt, which is called calcium signature. During this process, CAXs (Ca(2+)/H(+) exchangers) play critical role. For the first time, a putative Ca(2+)/H(+) exchanger GhCAX3 gene from upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum cv. 'YZ-1') was isolated and characterized. It was highly expressed in all tissues of cotton except roots and fibers. This gene may act as a regulator in cotton's response to abiotic stresses as it could be up-regulated by Ca(2+), NaCl, ABA and cold stress. Similar to other CAXs, it was proved that GhCAX3 also had Ca(2+) transport activity and the N-terminal regulatory region (NRR) through yeast complementation assay. Over-expression of GhCAX3 in tobacco showed less sensitivity to ABA during seed germination and seedling stages, and the phenotypic difference between wild type (WT) and transgenic plants was more significant when the NRR was truncated. Furthermore, GhCAX3 conferred cold tolerance in yeast as well as in tobacco seedlings based on physiological and molecular studies. However, transgenic plant seeds showed more sensitivity to cold stress compared to WT during seed germination, especially when expressed in N-terminal truncated version. Finally, the extent of sensitivity in transgenic lines was more severe than that in WT line under sodium tungstate treatment (an ABA repressor), indicating that ABA could alleviate cold sensitivity of GhCAX3 seeds, especially in short of its NRR. Meanwhile, we also found that overexpression of GhCAX3 could enhance some cold and ABA responsive marker genes. Taken together, these results suggested that GhCAX3 plays important roles in the cross-talk of ABA and cold signal transduction, and compared to full-length of GhCAX3, the absence of NRR could enhance the tolerance or sensitivity to cold stress, depending on seedling's developmental stages.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anther infertility under high temperature (HT) conditions has become a critical factor contributing to yield loss in cotton. Using large-scale expression profile sequencing, we studied the effect of HT on cotton anther development. Our analysis revealed that altered carbohydrate metabolism or disrupted tapetal programmed cell death (PCD) underlie anther sterility. The Gossypium hirsutum casein kinase I (GhCKI) gene, which encodes a homolog of casein kinase I (CKI), was induced in a HT-sensitive cotton line after exposure to HT. As mammalian homologs of GhCKI are involved in the inactivation of glycogen synthase and the regulation of apoptosis, GhCKI should be considered a target gene for improving anther fertility under HT conditions. Our studies suggest that GhCKI exhibits starch synthase kinase activity, increases glucose (Glc) content in early stage buds and activates the accumulation of abscisic acid (ABA), thereby disturbing the balance of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and eventually disrupting tapetal PCD, leading to anther abortion or indehiscence. These results indicate that GhCKI may be a key regulator of tapetal PCD and anther dehiscence, with the potential to facilitate the regulation of HT tolerance in crops. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Full-text · Article · May 2013 · The Plant Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plant CIPKs were specific Ser/Thr protein kinases, which were activated through interaction with calcineurin B-like protein (CBL) containing four EF hands for Ca(2+) binding. The CBL/CIPK complexes play an important role in signal transduction in biotic and abiotic stresses, as well as developmental processes. Here a Ser/Thr protein kinase gene (defined as GhCIPK6), which was isolated from RNA-Seq profile during cotton somatic embryogenesis in our previous research was characterized. The GhCIPK6 gene contains an ORF of 1296 bp that putatively encodes a polypeptide of 431 amino acids with a predicted molecular mass of 48.46 kD and isoelectric point of 9.12. Sequence alignment analysis confirmed that GhCIPK6 has no intron, and it was homologous to AtCIPK6. Expression analysis of the GhCIPK6 suggested that they might function in diverse tissues, including styles and anthers but not fibers. In addition, expression of the GhCIPK6 gene was induced by salt, drought and ABA treatments. Overexpression of GhCIPK6 significantly enhances the tolerance to salt, drought and ABA stresses in transgenic Arabidopsis, indicating that GhCIPK6 acts as a positive regulator in response to salt and drought stress, and is supposed to be a potential candidate gene to improve stress tolerance by genetic manipulation in cotton and other crops.
No preview · Article · May 2013 · Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Key message:
Overexpression of a cotton defense-related gene GbWRKY1 in Arabidopsis resulted in modification of the root system by enhanced auxin sensitivity to positively regulate the Pi starvation response. GbWRKY1 was a cloned WRKY transcription factor from Gossypium barbadense, which was firstly identified as a defense-related gene and showed moderate similarity with AtWRKY75 from Arabidopsis thaliana. Overexpression of GbWRKY1 in Arabidopsis resulted in attenuated Pi starvation stress symptoms, including reduced accumulation of anthocyanin and impaired density of lateral roots (LR) in low Pi stress. The study also indicated that overexpression of GbWRKY1 caused plants constitutively exhibited Pi starvation response including increased development of LR, relatively high level of total P and Pi, high expression level of some high-affinity Pi transporters and phosphatases as well as enhanced accumulation of acid phosphatases activity during Pi-sufficient. It was speculated that GbWRKY1 may act as a positive regulator in the Pi starvation response as well as AtWRKY75. GbWRKY1 probably involves in the modulation of Pi homeostasis and participates in the Pi allocation and remobilization but do not accumulate more Pi in Pi-deficient condition, which was different from the fact that AtWRKY75 influenced the Pi status of the plant during Pi deprivation by increasing root surface area and accumulation of more Pi. Otherwise, further study suggested that the overexpression plants were more sensitive to auxin than wild-type and GbWRKY1 may partly influence the LPR1-dependent (low phosphate response 1) Pi starvation signaling pathway and was putatively independent of SUMO E3 ligase SIZ1 and PHR1 (phosphate starvation response 1) in response to Pi starvation.
No preview · Article · Aug 2012 · Plant Cell Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The incompatible pathosystem between resistant cotton (Gossypium barbadense cv. 7124) and Verticillium dahliae strain V991 was used to study the cotton transcriptome changes after pathogen inoculation by RNA-Seq. Of 32,774 genes detected by mapping the tags to assembly cotton contigs, 3442 defence-responsive genes were identified. Gene cluster analyses and functional assignments of differentially expressed genes indicated a significant transcriptional complexity. Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) was performed on selected genes with different expression levels and functional assignments to demonstrate the utility of RNA-Seq for gene expression profiles during the cotton defence response. Detailed elucidation of responses of leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases (LRR-RLKs), phytohormone signalling-related genes, and transcription factors described the interplay of signals that allowed the plant to fine-tune defence responses. On the basis of global gene regulation of phenylpropanoid metabolism-related genes, phenylpropanoid metabolism was deduced to be involved in the cotton defence response. A closer look at the expression of these genes, enzyme activity, and lignin levels revealed differences between resistant and susceptible cotton plants. Both types of plants showed an increased level of expression of lignin synthesis-related genes and increased phenylalanine-ammonia lyase (PAL) and peroxidase (POD) enzyme activity after inoculation with V. dahliae, but the increase was greater and faster in the resistant line. Histochemical analysis of lignin revealed that the resistant cotton not only retains its vascular structure, but also accumulates high levels of lignin. Furthermore, quantitative analysis demonstrated increased lignification and cross-linking of lignin in resistant cotton stems. Overall, a critical role for lignin was believed to contribute to the resistance of cotton to disease.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2011 · Journal of Experimental Botany