Transcriptional profiling in cotton associated with Bacillus subtilis (UFLA285) induced biotic-stress tolerance
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Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) confer disease resistance in many agricultural crops. In the case of Bacillus subtilis (UFLA285) isolated from the cotton producing state of Mato Grosso (Brazil), in addition to inducing foliar and root growth, disease resistance against damping-off caused by Rhizoctonia solani was observed. The aim of this cotton study was to identify gene transcriptional events altered with exposure to the PGPR strain UFLA285 in infected plants. Global gene transcription was profiled using a commercially-available cotton gene chip; cotton plants with and without UFLA285-seed treatment were infected with R. solani 9-days after planting and harvested on day14. Microarray data of stem tissue revealed 247 genes differentially regulated in infected plants, seed treated versus untreated with UFLA285. Transcripts encoding disease resistance proteins via jasmonate/ethylene signaling as well as osmotic regulation via proline synthesis genes were differentially expressed with UFLA285 induction. Consistent with transcriptional regulation, UFLA285 increased plant-proline accumulation and dry weight. This study has identified transcriptional changes in cotton, induced by the beneficial soil bacterium UFLA285 and associated with disease control.