, Volume 118, Issue 2, pp 359-370
Date: 14 Oct 2008

Differential expression of genes in soybean in response to the causal agent of Asian soybean rust (Phakopsora pachyrhizi Sydow) is soybean growth stage-specific

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Understanding plant host response to a pathogen such as Phakopsora pachyrhizi, the causal agent of Asian soybean rust (ASR), under different environmental conditions and growth stages is crucial for developing a resistant plant variety. The main objective of this study was to perform global transcriptome profiling of P. pachyrhizi-exposed soybean (Glycine max) with susceptible reaction to the pathogen from two distinct developmental growth stages using whole genome Affymetrix microarrays of soybean followed by confirmation using a resistant genotype. Soybean cv. 5601T (susceptible to ASR) at the V4 and R1 growth stages and Glycine tomentella (resistant to ASR) plants were inoculated with P. pachyrhizi and leaf samples were collected after 72 h of inoculation for microarray analysis. Upon analyzing the data using Array Assist software at 5% false discovery rate (FDR), a total of 5,056 genes were found significantly differentially expressed at V4 growth stage, of which 2,401 were up-regulated, whereas 579 were found differentially expressed at R1 growth stage, of which 264 were up-regulated. There were 333 differentially expressed common genes between the V4 and R1 growth stages, of which 125 were up-regulated. A large difference in number of differentially expressed genes between the two growth stages indicates that the gene expression is growth-stage-specific. We performed real-time RT-PCR analysis on nine of these genes from both growth stages and both plant species and found results to be congruent with those from the microarray analysis.

Communicated by D. A. Lightfoot.