, Volume 247, Issue 1, pp 127–138 | Cite as

Effective enhancement of resistance to Phytophthora infestans by overexpression of miR172a and b in Solanum lycopersicum

  • Yushi Luan
  • Jun Cui
  • Jie Li
  • Ning Jiang
  • Ping Liu
  • Jun MengEmail author
Original Article


Main conclusion

Overexpression of miR172a and b in tomato ( Solanum lycopersicum ) Zaofen No. 2 increased resistance to Phytophthora infestans infection by suppressing of an AP2/ERF transcription factor.

The miR172 family has been shown to participate in the growth phase transition, flowering time control, abiotic and biotic stresses by regulating the expression of a small group of AP2/ERF transcription factors. In this study, the precursors of miR172a and b were cloned from tomato, Solanum pimpinellifolium L3708. We used the degradome sequencing to determine the cleavage site of miR172 to a member of the AP2/ERF transcription factor family (Solyc11g072600.1.1). qRT-PCR results showed that the expression of AP2/ERF was negatively correlated with the expression of miR172 in S. pimpinellifolium L3708 infected with Phytophthora infestans. Overexpression of miR172a and b in S. lycopersicum Zaofen No. 2 conferred greater resistance to P. infestans infection, as evidenced by decreased disease index, lesion sizes, and P. infestans abundance. The SOD and POD play important roles in scavenging late massive ROS in plant–pathogen interaction. Malonaldehyde (MDA) is widely recognized as an indicator of lipid peroxidation. Membrane damage in plants can be estimated by measuring leakage of electrolytes, which is evaluated by determining relative electrolyte leakage (REL). Less H2O2 and O2 , higher activities of POD and SOD, less MDA content and REL, and higher chlorophyll content and photosynthetic rate were also shown in transgenic plants after inoculation with P. infestans. Our results constitute the first step towards further investigations into the biological function and molecular mechanism of miR172-mediated silencing of AP2/ERF transcription factors in S. lycopersicumP. infestans interaction and provide a candidate gene for breeding to enhance biotic stress-resistance in S. lycopersicum.


ERF gene Late blight MiR172 Resistance Transgenic tomato 



Days post inoculation






Relative electrolyte leakage


Reactive oxygen species


Superoxide dismutase



This work is supported by Grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 31471880 and 61472061).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

425_2017_2773_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (329 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 329 kb)
425_2017_2773_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (221 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 221 kb)
425_2017_2773_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (176 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (PDF 176 kb)
425_2017_2773_MOESM4_ESM.xlsx (11 kb)
Supplementary material 4 (XLSX 10 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yushi Luan
    • 1
  • Jun Cui
    • 1
  • Jie Li
    • 1
  • Ning Jiang
    • 1
  • Ping Liu
    • 1
  • Jun Meng
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Life Science and BiotechnologyDalian University of TechnologyDalianChina
  2. 2.School of Computer Science and TechnologyDalian University of TechnologyDalianChina

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