Premature leaf senescence in cotton, which often happens during the mid to late growth period, has been occurring with an increasing frequency in many cotton-growing areas and causing serious reduction in yield and quality. One of the key factors causing cotton leaf senescence is the infection of Alternaria leaf spot pathogens (Alternaria species), which often happens when cotton plants encounter adverse environmental conditions, such as chilling stress and physiological impairment. Stressed cotton leaves are apt to be infected by Alternaria leaf spot pathogens (Alternaria alternata) because of the reduction in disease resistance, leading to the initiation of leaf senescence. Here we describe the induction of cotton leaf senescence by Alternaria alternata infection, including the evaluation of the disease index and measure of physiological impairment associated with cotton leaf senescence and analysis of possible molecular mechanism using microarray.
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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31371898), State Key Laboratory of Plant Disease, and Insect Biology Open Foundation (SKLOF201615).
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