Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (PCTOC)

, Volume 135, Issue 2, pp 213–221 | Cite as

Silencing of GbANS reduces cotton resistance to Verticillium dahliae through decreased ROS scavenging during the pathogen invasion process

  • Lu Long
  • Jing-Ruo Zhao
  • Fu-Chun Xu
  • Wen-Wen Yang
  • Peng Liao
  • Ya Gao
  • Wei GaoEmail author
  • Chun-Peng Song
Original Article


Anthocyanins are secondary metabolites that play important roles in plant adaption to adverse environments. The anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway is conserved in high plants. Previous studies revealed the significant role of anthocyanins in natural-colorized cotton. However, little is known about the involvement of anthocyanins in the interaction of cotton and pathogen. In this study, a pathogen-induced gene was isolated from Gossypium barbadense that encodes an anthocyanidin synthase protein (GbANS) with dioxygenase structures. GbANS was preferentially expressed in colored tissue. Silencing of GbANS significantly reduced the production of anthocyanins, as well as the cotton’s resistance to Verticillium dahliae. Biochemical studies revealed that GbANS-silenced cotton accumulated more hydrogen peroxide compared to control plants during the V. dahliae invasion process. This accumulation of hydrogen peroxide corresponded with increased cell death around the invasion sites, which in turn accelerated the V. dahliae infection. Taken together, we found that GbANS contributes to the biosynthesis of anthocyanins in cotton and anthocyanins positively regulate cotton’s resistance to V. dahliae.


Secondary metabolites Flavonoid Anthocyanidin synthase Plant defense Reactive oxygen species 



This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31601344, 31701473), and the Ministry of Agriculture of China (2016ZX08009-003).

Author contributions

LL analyzed and interpreted data and wrote the manuscript. JRZ and FCX performed the experiments. WWY, PL and YG analyzed the data and revised the manuscript. WG designed the study and supervised all of work. CPS revised the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Research involving human and animal participants

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


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lu Long
    • 1
  • Jing-Ruo Zhao
    • 1
  • Fu-Chun Xu
    • 1
  • Wen-Wen Yang
    • 1
  • Peng Liao
    • 1
  • Ya Gao
    • 1
  • Wei Gao
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chun-Peng Song
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Cotton Biology, Henan Key Laboratory of Plant Stress Biology, School of Life ScienceHenan UniversityKaifengPeople’s Republic of China

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