Comparative study on the mRNA expression of Pinus massoniana infected by Bursaphelenchus xylophilus

Abstract

Pine wilt disease (PWD) is a devastating disease affecting the growth of Pinus massoniana, often leading to withering and death. To reveal the changes involved during disease progression, we investigated the mRNA expression profile of P. massoniana infested by Bursaphelenchus xylophilus. The infestation resulted in the downregulation of genes involved in interactions with pathogenic pathways such as disease resistance gene, CC-NBS-LRR resistance-like protein, and the gene encoding a putative nematode resistance protein. Increased infestation pressure (number of nematodes inoculated) caused a continuous decline in the gene expression of stem samples. An infestation of P. massoniana also resulted in a pathway enrichment of genes involved in phenylpropanoid metabolism and flavonoid biosynthesis, which in turn reduced the levels of total phenols and total flavonoids. A downregulation of auxin responsive family protein was observed in infested samples, which resulted in a suppression of plant growth. Thus, upon B. xylophilus infestation, a downregulation of genes associated with the recognition of pathogens, PWD resistance, and growth regulation was observed in P. massoniana, together with a decrease in the levels of phytoalexin-like secondary substances, all of which resulted in withering and ultimately death of P. massoniana.

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Correspondence to Feiping Zhang or Wenshuo Guo.

Additional information

Project funding: This work was financially supported by the National Key Research and Development Program (2017YFD0600105), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31870641), the Research Foundation of Education Department of Fujian Province (No. JAT170882), Project of Financial Department of Fujian Province (Nos. K81139238 and K8911010) and the Special Fund for Forestry Research in the Public Interest of China (No. 201304401).

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Corresponding editor: Hu Yanbo.

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Xie, W., Liang, G., Huang, A. et al. Comparative study on the mRNA expression of Pinus massoniana infected by Bursaphelenchus xylophilus. J. For. Res. 31, 75–86 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11676-018-0824-1

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Keywords

  • Auxin/IAA
  • Bursaphelenchus xylophilus
  • Pinus massoniana
  • Resistance gene
  • Phytoalexin