Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 513–519 | Cite as

Identification of candidate resistance genes of cotton against Aspergillus flavus infection using a comparative transcriptomics approach

  • Muthamilarasan Mehanathan
  • Renesh Bedre
  • Venkata Mangu
  • Kanniah Rajasekaran
  • Deepak Bhatnagar
  • Niranjan Baisakh
Short Communication


A comparative transcriptome analysis was performed using the genes significantly differentially expressed in cotton, corn and peanut in response to aflatoxin producing fungus Aspergillus flavus with an objective of identifying candidate resistance genes in cotton. Two-way analyses identified 732 unique genes to be differentially regulated by the fungus with only 26 genes common across all three crops that were considered candidate A. flavus resistance genes with an assumption that these genes have specific roles in conferring the resistance trait. Genes of membrane cellular component involved in DNA binding with involvement in defense responses were highly represented among the differentially expressed unique genes. Most (six) of these genes coded for 2-oxoglutarate (2OG) and Fe(II)-dependent oxygenase superfamily proteins. Genes encoding helix loop helix protein, alcohol dehydrogenase and UDP glycosylation transferase which were upregulated in response to both atoxigenic and toxigenic strains of A. flavus, could be potential resistance candidate genes for downstream functional manipulation to confer resistance.


Aflatoxin Cotton Differentially expressed genes Resistance Transcriptome 



The research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the USDA in the form of a specific cooperative agreement between Louisiana State University Agricultural Center and the Southern Regional Research Center, USDA-ARS. The manuscript has been approved for publication by the Louisiana State Agricultural Experiment Station as Manuscript Number 2017-306-31588.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

12298_2018_522_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (93 kb)
Table S1 Putative Aspergillus flavus resistance genes conserved among cotton, maize, and peanut. (XLSX 92 kb)
12298_2018_522_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (90 kb)
Table S2 Gene ontology and domain composition of putative Aspergillus flavus resistance genes/proteins. (XLSX 89 kb)
12298_2018_522_MOESM3_ESM.xlsx (31 kb)
Table S3 Cis-regulatory elements present in the promoter region of 26 candidate Aspergillus flavus resistance genes co-expressed in cotton, peanut, and maize. (XLSX 30 kb)


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Copyright information

© Prof. H.S. Srivastava Foundation for Science and Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Plant, Environmental, and Soil SciencesLouisiana State University Agricultural CenterBaton RougeUSA
  2. 2.National Institute of Plant Genome ResearchAruna Asaf Ali MargNew DelhiIndia
  3. 3.Department of Plant Pathology and MicrobiologyTexas A&M AgriLife ResearchWeslacoUSA
  4. 4.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  5. 5.Southern Regional Research CenterUSDA-ARSNew OrleansUSA

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