Plant Cell Reports

, Volume 37, Issue 6, pp 887–900 | Cite as

Functional analysis of MeCIPK23 and MeCBL1/9 in cassava defense response against Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. manihotis

  • Yu Yan
  • Xinyi He
  • Wei Hu
  • Guoyin Liu
  • Peng Wang
  • Chaozu He
  • Haitao Shi
Original Article


Key message

MeCIPK23 interacts with MeCBL1/9, and they confer improved defense response, providing potential genes for further genetic breeding in cassava.


Cassava (Manihot esculenta) is an important food crop in tropical area, but its production is largely affected by cassava bacterial blight. However, the information of defense-related genes in cassava is very limited. Calcium ions play essential roles in plant development and stress signaling pathways. Calcineurin B-like proteins (CBLs) and CBL-interacting protein kinases (CIPKs) are crucial components of calcium signals. In this study, systematic expression profile of 25MeCIPKs in response to Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. manihotis (Xam) infection was examined, by which seven candidate MeCIPKs were chosen for functional investigation. Through transient expression in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves, we found that six MeCIPKs (MeCIPK5, MeCIPK8, MeCIPK12, MeCIPK22, MeCIPK23 and MeCIPK24) conferred improved defense response, via regulating the transcripts of several defense-related genes. Notably, we found that MeCIPK23 interacted with MeCBL1 and MeCBL9, and overexpression of these genes conferred improved defense response. On the contrary, virus-induced gene silencing of either MeCIPK23 or MeCBL1/9 or both genes resulted in disease sensitive in cassava. To our knowledge, this is the first study identifying MeCIPK23 as well as MeCBL1 and MeCBL9 that confer enhanced defense response against Xam.


Calcium CBL-interacting protein kinase (CIPK) Cassava (Manihot esculentaCassava bacterial blight Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. manihotis (Xam



Abscisic acid


Biomolecular fluorescence complementation




Calcineurin B-like protein


CBL-interacting protein kinase


Calmodulin-like protein


Calcium-dependent protein kinase




Day post infiltration


Electrolyte leakage


Green fluorescent protein


Hydrogen ion


Hydrogen peroxide


Microbe/pathogen-associated molecular patterns


NADPH oxidase


Nonexpresser of PR genes 1


Superoxide radical


Plasma membrane


2C-type protein phosphatase


Protein–phosphatase interaction


Pathogensis-related gene


Respiratory burst oxidase homologues


Reactive oxygen species


Virus-induced gene silencing


Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. manihotis



We thank Dr. Chris R. Somerville, Dr. Jie Zhou, Dr. Yanru Hu, and Dr. Jiang Tian for sharing their vector plasmids. This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31760067), the startup funding and the scientific research foundation of Hainan University (No. kyqd1531) to Haitao Shi.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

299_2018_2276_MOESM1_ESM.doc (376 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 376 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yu Yan
    • 1
  • Xinyi He
    • 1
  • Wei Hu
    • 2
  • Guoyin Liu
    • 1
  • Peng Wang
    • 1
  • Chaozu He
    • 1
  • Haitao Shi
    • 1
  1. 1.Hainan Key Laboratory for Sustainable Utilization of Tropical Bioresources and College of Biology, Institute of Tropical Agriculture and ForestryHainan UniversityHaikouChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Resources of Tropical Crops, Institute of Tropical Bioscience and BiotechnologyChinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural SciencesHaikouChina

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