5 years ago

Comparative transcriptome analysis of a lowly virulent strain of Erwinia amylovora in shoots of two apple cultivars – susceptible and resistant to fire blight

Comparative transcriptome analysis of a lowly virulent strain of Erwinia amylovora in shoots of two apple cultivars – susceptible and resistant to fire blight
Monika Kałużna, Joanna Puławska, Wojciech Warabieda, Artur Mikiciński
Erwinia amylovora is generally considered to be a homogeneous species in terms of phenotypic and genetic features. However, strains show variation in their virulence, particularly on hosts with different susceptibility to fire blight. We applied the RNA-seq technique to elucidate transcriptome-level changes of the lowly virulent E. amylovora 650 strain during infection of shoots of susceptible (Idared) and resistant (Free Redstar) apple cultivars. The highest number of differentially expressed E. amylovora genes between the two apple genotypes was observed at 24 h after inoculation. Six days after inoculation, only a few bacterial genes were differentially expressed in the susceptible and resistant apple cultivars. The analysis of differentially expressed gene functions showed that generally, higher expression of genes related to stress response and defence against toxic compounds was observed in Free Redstar. Also in this cultivar, higher expression of flagellar genes (FlaI), which are recognized as PAMP (pathogen-associated molecular pattern) by the innate immune systems of plants, was noted. Additionally, several genes that have not yet been proven to play a role in the pathogenic abilities of E. amylovora were found to be differentially expressed in the two apple cultivars. This RNA-seq analysis generated a novel dataset describing the transcriptional response of the lowly virulent strain of E. amylovora in susceptible and resistant apple cultivar. Most genes were regulated in the same way in both apple cultivars, but there were also some cultivar-specific responses suggesting that the environment in Free Redstar is more stressful for bacteria what can be the reason of their inability to infect of this cultivar. Among genes with the highest fold change in expression between experimental combinations or with the highest transcript abundance, there are many genes without ascribed functions, which have never been tested for their role in pathogenicity. Overall, this study provides the first transcriptional profile by RNA-seq of E. amylovora during infection of a host plant and insights into the transcriptional response of this pathogen in the environments of susceptible and resistant apple plants.
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