Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Integrated transcriptomics and metabolomics reveal induction of hierarchies of resistance genes in potato against late blight

Kalenahalli N. Yogendra A and Ajjamada C. Kushalappa A B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Plant Science, McGill University, Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Québec, Canada.

B Corresponding author. Email: ajjamada.kushalappa@mcgill.ca

Functional Plant Biology 43(8) 766-782 https://doi.org/10.1071/FP16028
Submitted: 23 January 2016  Accepted: 15 April 2016   Published: 18 May 2016

Abstract

Late blight caused by Phytophthora infestans is a devastating disease affecting potato production worldwide. The quantitative resistance is durable, but the underlying molecular and biochemical mechanisms are poorly understood, limiting its application in breeding. Integrated transcriptomics and metabolomics approach was used for the first time to study the hierarchies of molecular events occurring, following inoculation of resistant and susceptible potato genotypes with P. infestans. RNA sequencing revealed a total of 4216 genes that were differentially expressed in the resistant than in the susceptible genotype. Genes that were highly expressed and associated with their biosynthetic metabolites that were highly accumulated, through metabolic pathway regulation, were selected. Quantitative real-time PCR was performed to confirm the RNA-seq expression levels. The induced leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases (LRR-RLKs) are considered to be involved in pathogen recognition. These receptor genes are considered to trigger downstream oxidative burst, phytohormone signalling-related genes, and transcription factors that regulated the resistance genes to produce resistance related metabolites to suppress the pathogen infection. It was noted that several resistance genes in metabolic pathways related to phenylpropanoids, flavonoids, alkaloids and terpenoid biosynthesis were strongly induced in the resistant genotypes. The pathway specific gene induction provided key insights into the metabolic reprogramming of induced defence responses in resistant genotypes.

Additional keywords: biotic stress, metabolomics, Phytophthora infestans, quantitative resistance, RNA sequencing, transcriptomics.


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