European Journal of Plant Pathology

, Volume 152, Issue 3, pp 769–781 | Cite as

A chalcone synthase controls the verticillium disease resistance response in both Arabidopsis thaliana and cotton

  • Kai Jian Lei
  • Li Zhang
  • Xiao Yu Du
  • Yi An
  • Gai Hong Chang
  • Guo Yong AnEmail author


Verticillium wilt is a devastating disease caused by the soil-borne fungus Verticillium dahliae that causes severe wilt symptoms in more than 400 plant species, including economically important cotton. However, the molecular mechanism of plant resistance to Verticillium remains unclear. In this study, we identified an Arabidopsis mutant, vsad1 (verticillium sensitive and anthocyanin deficient 1), which showed more serious disease symptoms such as discoloration and chlorosis than wild-type Arabidopsis. vsad1 is a previously identified allele of the transparent testa 4 gene (tt4), which encodes chalcone synthase (CHS), a key enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of flavonoids. Our results showed that VSAD1 expression was induced in response to Verticillium dahliae infection. Overexpression of VSAD1 partially recovered the anthocyanin accumulation phenotype of the vsad1–1 mutant. The concentration of V. dahliae increased and ROS accumulation decreased in the vsad1 mutant after infection with V. dahliae. Knockdown of the homologous gene GhCHS in cotton plants increased their susceptibility to V. dahliae infection. Thus, we conclude that VSAD1 is involved in the regulation of plant resistance to Verticillium wilt.


Arabidopsis thaliana Anthocyanin Verticillium wilt Sensitivity Map-based cloning 



This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31570263 and 31601140). We thank Dr. Xiaofeng Dai (Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Beijing) for providing strain Vd-gfp77. We thank Robbie Lewis, MSc, from Liwen Bianji, Edanz Group China (, for editing the English text of a draft of this manuscript.

Authors’ contributions

KJL performed qRT-RCR experiments, gathered and analyzed the data, and wrote the manuscript. LZ performed plant physiological experiments. XYD performed map-based cloning and cotton related experiment. YA and GHC performed a large-scale screen experiment. GYA designed the research and revised manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

10658_2018_1521_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (590 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 590 kb)


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Planteziektenkundige Vereniging 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kai Jian Lei
    • 1
    • 2
  • Li Zhang
    • 1
  • Xiao Yu Du
    • 1
  • Yi An
    • 1
  • Gai Hong Chang
    • 1
  • Guo Yong An
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Life Sciences, State Key Laboratory of Cotton BiologyHenan UniversityKaifengPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Pharmacy College of Henan UniversityKaifengPeople’s Republic of China

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