Resistance locus pyramids alter transcript abundance in soybean roots inoculated with Fusarium solani f.sp. glycines
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Soybean Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) is caused by Fusarium solani f.sp. glycines (Fsg). Six quantitative trait loci (QTLs), each conferring partial resistance to SDS, have been discovered in an Essex × Forrest recombinant inbred line (RIL) population, but their mode of action is not clear. This study aimed to identify genes (ESTs) whose mRNA transcripts were altered in abundance in soybean roots following inoculation of Fsg. Roots of the soybean variety Forrest (four resistance alleles) were inoculated with Fsg, and 14 days later RNA sequences that were differentially expressed relative to uninoculated roots were enriched using suppression subtraction and differential display. The abundance of these RNAs was quantified in inoculated and non-inoculated roots by macroarray hybridizations. A unigene set of 135 ESTs was identified and used in a further macroarray analysis. The abundance of 28 cDNA fragments was increased more than two-fold in inoculated compared to uninoculated roots of RIL 23 (six resistance alleles). In Forrest and Essex (two resistance alleles), the level of only one mRNA was increased two-fold in inoculated roots compared to the uninoculated roots. In Essex most of the mRNAs analyzed decreased in abundance (61/135 showed a two-fold decrease), while in Forrest most mRNA abundances did not change. Among the 28 cDNAs that revealed a two-fold or higher increase in mRNA abundance in RIL 23, 14% code for proteins known to be involved in plant defense, 21% in metabolism, 14% in cell structure and 4% in transport. Unannotated ESTs accounted for 43% of the genes, and 4% of the sequences were previously unknown. The plant defense-related genes that showed a differential response to Fsg inoculation suggested a role for the phenylproponoid pathway in soybean defense against Fsg. In Essex, genes involved in plant defense, cell wall synthesis, ethylene synthesis and metabolism were expressed at lower levels in inoculated roots. The difference in response between the 2-, 4- and 6-gene pyramids suggests that QTLs for SDS resistance serve to delay symptoms or confer resistance by maintaining or increasing the expression of specific genes after inoculation/infection.
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