Global gene regulation in tomato plant (Solanum lycopersicum) responding to vector (Bactericera cockerelli) feeding and pathogen (‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’) infection
Different responses are elicited in tomato plants by Bactericera cockerelli harboring or not the pathogen ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’.
‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (Lso) has emerged as a major pathogen of crops worldwide. This bacterial pathogen is transmitted by Bactericera cockerelli, the tomato psyllid, to solanaceous crops. In this study, the transcriptome profiles of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) exposed to B. cockerelli infestation and Lso infection were evaluated at 1, 2 and 4 weeks following colonization and/or infection. The plant transcriptional responses to Lso-negative B. cockerelli were different than plant responses to Lso-positive B. cockerelli. The comparative transcriptome analyses of plant responses to Lso-negative B. cockerelli revealed the up-regulation of genes associated with plant defenses regardless of the time-point. In contrast, the general responses to Lso-positive B. cockerelli and Lso-infection were temporally different. Infected plants down-regulated defense genes at week one while delayed the up-regulation of the defense genes until weeks two and four, time points in which early signs of disease development were also detected in the transcriptional response. For example, infected plants regulated carbohydrate metabolism genes which could be linked to the disruption of sugar distribution usually associated with Lso infection. Also, infected plants down-regulated photosynthesis-related genes potentially resulting in plant chlorosis, another symptom associated with Lso infection. Overall, this study highlights that tomato plants induce different sets of genes in response to different stages of B. cockerelli infestation and Lso infection. This is the first transcriptome study of tomato responses to B. cockerelli and Lso, a first step in the direction of finding plant defense genes to enhance plant resistance.
KeywordsCandidatus Liberibacter solanacearum Bactericera cockerelli Comparative transcriptomes Plant–insect interaction Plant–pathogen interaction Zebra chip
This material is based upon work supported by the NIFA-AFRI Grant 2012-67013-19431. Ordom Huot is supported by the Texas A&M University Diversity Fellowship and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant No. 1252521. We thank Dr. Azucena Mendoza, Dr. Kyle Harrison, Dr. Elizabeth Pierson and Dr. Punya Nachappa for their assistance.
OH, JL and CT designed the experiments. OH performed the experiments and analyzed data. OH, JL and CT wrote the manuscript.
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