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