Publications by authors named "Isgouhi Kaloshian"

41 Publications

Quantification of Methylglyoxal Levels in Cowpea Leaves in Response to Cowpea Aphid Infestation.

Bio Protoc 2020 Oct 20;10(20):e3795. Epub 2020 Oct 20.

Graduate program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of California, Riverside, USA.

Aphids are a serious pest of crops across the world. Aphids feed by inserting their flexible hypodermal needlelike mouthparts, or stylets, into their host plant tissues. They navigate their way to the phloem where they feed on its sap causing little mechanical damage to the plant. Additionally, while feeding, aphids secrete proteinaceous effectors in their saliva to alter plant metabolism and disrupt plant defenses to gain an advantage over the plant. Even with these arsenals to overcome plant responses, plants have evolved ways to detect and counter with defense responses to curtail aphid infestation. One of such response of cowpea to cowpea aphid infestation, is accumulation of the metabolite methylglyoxal. Methylglyoxal is an α,β-dicarbonyl ketoaldehyde that is toxic at high concentrations. Methylglyoxal levels increase modestly after exposure to a number of different abiotic and biotic stresses and has been shown to act as an emerging defense signaling molecule at low levels. Here we describe a protocol to measure methylglyoxal in cowpea leaves after cowpea aphid infestation, by utilizing a perchloric acid extraction process. The extracted supernatant was neutralized with potassium carbonate, and methylglyoxal was quantified through its reaction with N-acetyl-L-cysteine to form N-α-acetyl-S-(1-hydroxy-2-oxo-prop-1-yl)cysteine, a product that is quantified spectrophotometrically.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21769/BioProtoc.3795DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7842737PMC
October 2020

Editorial: Plant-Arthropod Interactions: Effectors and Elicitors of Arthropods and Their Associated Microbes.

Front Plant Sci 2020 4;11:610160. Epub 2020 Nov 4.

Department of Nematology, Institute for Integrative Genome Biology, University of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA, United States.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.610160DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7672025PMC
November 2020

AcDCXR Is a Cowpea Aphid Effector With Putative Roles in Altering Host Immunity and Physiology.

Front Plant Sci 2020 15;11:605. Epub 2020 May 15.

Graduate Program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA, United States.

Cowpea, , is a crop that is essential to semiarid areas of the world like Sub-Sahara Africa. Cowpea is highly susceptible to cowpea aphid, , infestation that can lead to major yield losses. Aphids feed on their host plant by inserting their hypodermal needlelike flexible stylets into the plant to reach the phloem sap. During feeding, aphids secrete saliva, containing effector proteins, into the plant to disrupt plant immune responses and alter the physiology of the plant to their own advantage. Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was used to identify the salivary proteome of the cowpea aphid. About 150 candidate proteins were identified including diacetyl/L-xylulose reductase (DCXR), a novel enzyme previously unidentified in aphid saliva. DCXR is a member of short-chain dehydrogenases/reductases with dual enzymatic functions in carbohydrate and dicarbonyl metabolism. To assess whether cowpea aphid DCXR (AcDCXR) has similar functions, recombinant AcDCXR was purified and assayed enzymatically. For carbohydrate metabolism, the oxidation of xylitol to xylulose was tested. The dicarbonyl reaction involved the reduction of methylglyoxal, an α-β-dicarbonyl ketoaldehyde, known as an abiotic and biotic stress response molecule causing cytotoxicity at high concentrations. To assess whether cowpea aphids induce methylglyoxal in plants, we measured methylglyoxal levels in both cowpea and pea () plants and found them elevated transiently after aphid infestation. Agrobacterium-mediated transient overexpression of AcDCXR in pea resulted in an increase of cowpea aphid fecundity. Taken together, our results indicate that AcDCXR is an effector with a putative ability to generate additional sources of energy to the aphid and to alter plant defense responses. In addition, this work identified methylglyoxal as a potential novel aphid defense metabolite adding to the known repertoire of plant defenses against aphid pests.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.00605DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7243947PMC
May 2020

Advances in Plant-Nematode Interactions with Emphasis on the Notorious Nematode Genus .

Phytopathology 2019 Dec 15;109(12):1988-1996. Epub 2019 Oct 15.

Department of Nematology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521.

Plant infections by plant-parasitic nematodes (PPNs) continue to be one of the major limitations in agricultural systems. Root-knot nematodes (RKNs), belonging to the genus , are one of the most important groups of PPNs worldwide. Their wide host range combined with ubiquitous presence, continues to provide challenges for their control and breeding for resistance. Although resistance to RKNs has been identified, incorporation of these resistances into crops and durability of the resistance remains challenging. In addition, progress in cloning of RKN resistance genes has been dismal. Recent identification of pattern-triggered immunity in roots against nematodes, an ascaroside as a nematode-associated molecular pattern (NAMP) and the discovery of a NAMP plant receptor, provide tools and opportunities to develop durable host resistance against nematodes including RKNs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/PHYTO-05-19-0163-IADOI Listing
December 2019

Aphid effector Me10 interacts with tomato TFT7, a 14-3-3 isoform involved in aphid resistance.

New Phytol 2019 02 24;221(3):1518-1528. Epub 2018 Oct 24.

Department of Nematology, University of California, Riverside, CA, 92521, USA.

We demonstrated previously that expression of Macrosiphum euphorbiae salivary protein Me10 enhanced aphid reproduction on its host tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). However, the mechanism of action of Me10 remained elusive. To confirm the secretion of Me10 by the aphid into plant tissues, we produced Me10 polyclonal antibodies. To identify the plant targets of Me10, we developed a tomato immune induced complementary DNA yeast two-hybrid library and screened it with Me10 as bait. Immunoprecipitation and bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) assays were performed to validate one of the interactions in planta, and virus-induced gene silencing was used for functional characterization in tomato. We demonstrated that Me10 is secreted into the plant tissues and interacts with tomato 14-3-3 isoform 7 (TFT7) in yeast. Immunoprecipitation assays confirmed that Me10 and its homologue in Aphis gossypii, Ag10k, interact with TFT7 in planta. Further, BiFC revealed that Me10 interaction with TFT7 occurs in the plant cell cytoplasm. While silencing of TFT7 in tomato leaves did not affect tomato susceptibility to M. euphorbiae, it enhanced longevity and fecundity of A. gossypii, the non-host aphid. Our results suggest the model whereby TFT7 plays a role in aphid resistance in tomato and effectors of the Me10/Ag10k family interfere with TFT7 function during aphid infestation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.15475DOI Listing
February 2019

Classification and phylogenetic analyses of the Arabidopsis and tomato G-type lectin receptor kinases.

BMC Genomics 2018 Apr 6;19(1):239. Epub 2018 Apr 6.

Department of Nematology, University of California, Riverside, California, USA.

Background: Pathogen perception by plants is mediated by plasma membrane-localized immune receptors that have varied extracellular domains. Lectin receptor kinases (LecRKs) are among these receptors and are subdivided into 3 classes, C-type LecRKs (C-LecRKs), L-type LecRKs (L-LecRKs) and G-type LecRKs (G-LecRKs). While C-LecRKs are represented by one or two members in all plant species investigated and have unknown functions, L-LecRKs have been characterized in a few plant species and have been shown to play roles in plant defense against pathogens. Whereas Arabidopsis G-LecRKs have been characterized, this family of LecRKs has not been studied in tomato.

Results: This investigation updates the current characterization of Arabidopsis G-LecRKs and characterizes the tomato G-LecRKs, using LecRKs from the monocot rice and the basal eudicot columbine to establish a basis for comparisons between the two core eudicots. Additionally, revisiting parameters established for Arabidopsis nomenclature for LecRKs is suggested for both Arabidopsis and tomato. Moreover, using phylogenetic analysis, we show the relationship among and between members of G-LecRKs from all three eudicot plant species. Furthermore, investigating presence of motifs in G-LecRKs we identified conserved motifs among members of G-LecRKs in tomato and Arabidopsis, with five present in at least 30 of the 38 Arabidopsis members and in at least 45 of the 73 tomato members.

Conclusions: This work characterized tomato G-LecRKs and added members to the currently characterized Arabidopsis G-LecRKs. Additionally, protein sequence analysis showed an expansion of this family in tomato as compared to Arabidopsis, and the existence of conserved common motifs in the two plant species as well as conserved species-specific motifs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12864-018-4606-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5889549PMC
April 2018

Sequence analysis of the potato aphid Macrosiphum euphorbiae transcriptome identified two new viruses.

PLoS One 2018 29;13(3):e0193239. Epub 2018 Mar 29.

Department of Nematology, University of California, Riverside, California, United States of America.

The potato aphid, Macrosiphum euphorbiae, is an important agricultural pest that causes economic losses to potato and tomato production. To establish the transcriptome for this aphid, RNA-Seq libraries constructed from aphids maintained on tomato plants were used in Illumina sequencing generating 52.6 million 75-105 bp paired-end reads. The reads were assembled using Velvet/Oases software with SEED preprocessing resulting in 22,137 contigs with an N50 value of 2,003bp. After removal of contigs from tomato host origin, 20,254 contigs were annotated using BLASTx searches against the non-redundant protein database from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) as well as IntereProScan. This identified matches for 74% of the potato aphid contigs. The highest ranking hits for over 12,700 contigs were against the related pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum. Gene Ontology (GO) was used to classify the identified M. euphorbiae contigs into biological process, cellular component and molecular function. Among the contigs, sequences of microbial origin were identified. Sixty five contigs were from the aphid bacterial obligate endosymbiont Buchnera aphidicola origin and two contigs had amino acid similarities to viruses. The latter two were named Macrosiphum euphorbiae virus 2 (MeV-2) and Macrosiphum euphorbiae virus 3 (MeV-3). The highest sequence identity to MeV-2 had the Dysaphis plantaginea densovirus, while to MeV-3 is the Hubei sobemo-like virus 49. Characterization of MeV-2 and MeV-3 indicated that both are transmitted vertically from adult aphids to nymphs. MeV-2 peptides were detected in the aphid saliva and only MeV-2 and not MeV-3 nucleic acids were detected inside tomato leaves exposed to virus-infected aphids. However, MeV-2 nucleic acids did not persist in tomato leaf tissues, after clearing the plants from aphids, indicating that MeV-2 is likely an aphid virus.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0193239PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5875755PMC
June 2018

Foundational and Translational Research Opportunities to Improve Plant Health.

Mol Plant Microbe Interact 2017 07 12;30(7):515-516. Epub 2017 Jun 12.

27 Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, U.S.A.

Reader Comments | Submit a Comment The white paper reports the deliberations of a workshop focused on biotic challenges to plant health held in Washington, D.C. in September 2016. Ensuring health of food plants is critical to maintaining the quality and productivity of crops and for sustenance of the rapidly growing human population. There is a close linkage between food security and societal stability; however, global food security is threatened by the vulnerability of our agricultural systems to numerous pests, pathogens, weeds, and environmental stresses. These threats are aggravated by climate change, the globalization of agriculture, and an over-reliance on nonsustainable inputs. New analytical and computational technologies are providing unprecedented resolution at a variety of molecular, cellular, organismal, and population scales for crop plants as well as pathogens, pests, beneficial microbes, and weeds. It is now possible to both characterize useful or deleterious variation as well as precisely manipulate it. Data-driven, informed decisions based on knowledge of the variation of biotic challenges and of natural and synthetic variation in crop plants will enable deployment of durable interventions throughout the world. These should be integral, dynamic components of agricultural strategies for sustainable agriculture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/MPMI-01-17-0010-CRDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5810936PMC
July 2017

The Potato Aphid Salivary Effector Me47 Is a Glutathione-S-Transferase Involved in Modifying Plant Responses to Aphid Infestation.

Front Plant Sci 2016 3;7:1142. Epub 2016 Aug 3.

Department of Nematology, University of California, Riverside Riverside, CA, USA.

Polyphagous aphid pests cause considerable economic damage to crop plants, primarily through the depletion of photoassimilates and transfer of viruses. The potato aphid (Macrosiphum euphorbiae) is a notable pest of solanaceous crops, however, the molecular mechanisms that underpin the ability to colonize these hosts are unknown. It has recently been demonstrated that like other aphid species, M. euphorbiae injects a battery of salivary proteins into host plants during feeding. It is speculated that these proteins function in a manner analagous to secreted effectors from phytopathogenic bacteria, fungi and oomycetes. Here, we describe a novel aphid effector (Me47) which was identified from the potato aphid salivary secretome as a putative glutathione-S-transferase (GST). Expression of Me47 in Nicotiana benthamiana enhanced reproductive performance of green peach aphid (Myzus persicae). Similarly, delivery of Me47 into leaves of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) by Pseudomonas spp. enhanced potato aphid fecundity. In contrast, delivery of Me47 into Arabidopsis thaliana reduced GPA reproductive performance, indicating that Me47 impacts the outcome of plant-aphid interactions differently depending on the host species. Delivery of Me47 by the non-pathogenic Pseudomonas fluorescens revealed that Me47 protein or activity triggers defense gene transcriptional upregulation in tomato but not Arabidopsis. Recombinant Me47 was purified and demonstrated to have GST activity against two specific isothiocyanates (ITCs), compounds implicated in herbivore defense. Whilst GSTs have previously been associated with development of aphid resistance to synthetic insecticides, the findings described here highlight a novel function as both an elicitor and suppressor of plant defense when delivered into host tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2016.01142DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4971587PMC
August 2016

The Synthetic Elicitor DPMP (2,4-dichloro-6-{(E)-[(3-methoxyphenyl)imino]methyl}phenol) Triggers Strong Immunity in Arabidopsis thaliana and Tomato.

Sci Rep 2016 07 14;6:29554. Epub 2016 Jul 14.

Center for Plant Cell Biology, Institute for Integrative Genome Biology, University of California at Riverside, CA 92521, USA.

Synthetic elicitors are drug-like compounds that are structurally distinct from natural defense elicitors. They can protect plants from diseases by activating host immune responses and can serve as tools for the dissection of the plant immune system as well as leads for the development of environmentally-safe pesticide alternatives. By high-throughput screening, we previously identified 114 synthetic elicitors that activate expression of the pathogen-responsive CaBP22(-333)::GUS reporter gene in Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis), 33 of which are [(phenylimino)methyl]phenol (PMP) derivatives or PMP-related compounds. Here we report on the characterization of one of these compounds, 2,4-dichloro-6-{(E)-[(3-methoxyphenyl)imino]methyl}phenol (DPMP). DPMP strongly triggers disease resistance of Arabidopsis against bacterial and oomycete pathogens. By mRNA-seq analysis we found transcriptional profiles triggered by DPMP to resemble typical defense-related responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep29554DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4944173PMC
July 2016

The Conformation of a Plasma Membrane-Localized Somatic Embryogenesis Receptor Kinase Complex Is Altered by a Potato Aphid-Derived Effector.

Plant Physiol 2016 07 19;171(3):2211-22. Epub 2016 May 19.

Department of Nematology (H.-C.P., S.M., I.K.), Graduate Program in Botany and Plant Sciences (H.-C.P., I.K.), Institute for Integrative Genome Biology and Center for Plant Cell Biology (G.R.H., I.K.), University of California, Riverside, California 92521; and Molecular Plant Pathology, Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, University of Amsterdam, 1012 WX Amsterdam, The Netherlands (F.L.W.T.)

Somatic embryogenesis receptor kinases (SERKs) are transmembrane receptors involved in plant immunity. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) carries three SERK members. One of these, SlSERK1, is required for Mi-1.2-mediated resistance to potato aphids (Macrosiphum euphorbiae). Mi-1.2 encodes a coiled-coil nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat protein that in addition to potato aphids confers resistance to two additional phloem-feeding insects and to root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.). How SlSERK1 participates in Mi-1.2-mediated resistance is unknown, and no Mi-1.2 cognate pest effectors have been identified. Here, we study the mechanistic involvement of SlSERK1 in Mi-1.2-mediated resistance. We show that potato aphid saliva and protein extracts induce the Mi-1.2 defense marker gene SlWRKY72b, indicating that both saliva and extracts contain a Mi-1.2 recognized effector. Resistant tomato cultivar Motelle (Mi-1.2/Mi-1.2) plants overexpressing SlSERK1 were found to display enhanced resistance to potato aphids. Confocal microscopy revealed that Mi-1.2 localizes at three distinct subcellular compartments: the plasma membrane, cytoplasm, and nucleus. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments in these tomato plants and in Nicotiana benthamiana transiently expressing Mi-1.2 and SlSERK1 showed that Mi-1.2 and SlSERK1 colocalize only in a microsomal complex. Interestingly, bimolecular fluorescence complementation analysis showed that the interaction of Mi-1.2 and SlSERK1 at the plasma membrane distinctively changes in the presence of potato aphid saliva, suggesting a model in which a constitutive complex at the plasma membrane participates in defense signaling upon effector binding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1104/pp.16.00295DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4936560PMC
July 2016

Root-knot nematodes induce pattern-triggered immunity in Arabidopsis thaliana roots.

New Phytol 2016 07 19;211(1):276-87. Epub 2016 Feb 19.

Department of Nematology, University of California, Riverside, CA, 92521, USA.

Root-knot nematodes (RKNs; Meloidogyne spp.) are plant parasites with a broad host range causing great losses worldwide. To parasitize their hosts, RKNs establish feeding sites in roots known as giant cells. The majority of work studying plant-RKN interactions in susceptible hosts addresses establishment of the giant cells and there is limited information on the early defense responses. Here we characterized early defense or pattern-triggered immunity (PTI) against RKNs in Arabidopsis thaliana. To address PTI, we evaluated known canonical PTI signaling mutants with RKNs and investigated the expression of PTI marker genes after RKN infection using both quantitative PCR and β-glucuronidase reporter transgenic lines. We showed that PTI-compromised plants have enhanced susceptibility to RKNs, including the bak1-5 mutant. BAK1 is a common partner of distinct receptors of microbe- and damage-associated molecular patterns. Furthermore, our data indicated that nematode recognition leading to PTI responses involves camalexin and glucosinolate biosynthesis. While the RKN-induced glucosinolate biosynthetic pathway was BAK1-dependent, the camalexin biosynthetic pathway was only partially dependent on BAK1. Combined, our results indicate the presence of BAK1-dependent and -independent PTI against RKNs in A. thaliana, suggesting the existence of diverse nematode recognition mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.13893DOI Listing
July 2016

A novel virus from Macrosiphum euphorbiae with similarities to members of the family Flaviviridae.

J Gen Virol 2016 05 27;97(5):1261-1271. Epub 2016 Jan 27.

Institute of Integrative Genome Biology,University of California, Riverside, California,USA.

A virus with a large genome was identified in the transcriptome of the potato aphid (Macrosiphum euphorbiae) and was named Macrosiphum euphorbiae virus 1 (MeV-1). The MeV-1 genome is 22 780 nt in size, including 3' and 5' non-coding regions, with a single large ORF encoding a putative polyprotein of 7333 aa. The C-terminal region of the predicted MeV-1 polyprotein contained sequences with similarities to helicase, methyltransferase and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) motifs, while the N-terminal region lacked any motifs including structural proteins. Phylogenetic analysis of the helicase placed MeV-1 close to pestiviruses, while the RdRp region placed it close to pestiviruses and flaviviruses, suggesting MeV-1 has a positive-polarity ssRNA genome and is a member of the family Flaviviridae. Since the MeV-1 genome is predicted to contain a methyltransferase, a gene present typically in flaviviruses but not pestiviruses, MeV-1 is likely a member of the genus Flavivirus. MeV-1 was present in nymphal and adult stages of the aphid, aphid saliva and plant tissues fed upon by aphids. However, the virus was unable to multiply and spread in tomato plants. In addition, dsRNA, the replication intermediate of RNA viruses, was isolated from virus-infected M. euphorbiae and not from tomato plants infested with the aphid. Furthermore, nymphs laid without exposure to infected plants harboured the virus, indicating that MeV-1 is an aphid-infecting virus likely transmitted transovarially. The virus was present in M. euphorbiae populations from Europe but not from North America and was absent in all other aphid species tested.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/jgv.0.000414DOI Listing
May 2016

The Synthetic Elicitor 2-(5-Bromo-2-Hydroxy-Phenyl)-Thiazolidine-4-Carboxylic Acid Links Plant Immunity to Hormesis.

Plant Physiol 2016 Jan 3;170(1):444-58. Epub 2015 Nov 3.

ChemGen Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program (M.R.-S., M.S., C.K., T.E.), Center for Plant Cell Biology, Institute for Integrative Genome Biology (M.R.-S., Y.B., M.S., C.K., I.K., T.E.), Department of Botany and Plant Sciences (M.R.-S., Y.B., M.S., C.K., T.V., T.E.), and Department of Nematology (P.R., I.K.), University of California, Riverside, California 92521

Synthetic elicitors are drug-like compounds that induce plant immune responses but are structurally distinct from natural defense elicitors. Using high-throughput screening, we previously identified 114 synthetic elicitors that activate the expression of a pathogen-responsive reporter gene in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Here, we report on the characterization of one of these compounds, 2-(5-bromo-2-hydroxy-phenyl)-thiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid (BHTC). BHTC induces disease resistance of plants against bacterial, oomycete, and fungal pathogens and has a unique mode of action and structure. Surprisingly, we found that low doses of BHTC enhanced root growth in Arabidopsis, while high doses of this compound inhibited root growth, besides inducing defense. These effects are reminiscent of the hormetic response, which is characterized by low-dose stimulatory effects of a wide range of agents that are toxic or inhibitory at higher doses. Like its effects on defense, BHTC-induced hormesis in Arabidopsis roots is partially dependent on the WRKY70 transcription factor. Interestingly, BHTC-induced root hormesis is also affected in the auxin-response mutants axr1-3 and slr-1. By messenger RNA sequencing, we uncovered a dramatic difference between transcriptional profiles triggered by low and high doses of BHTC. Only high levels of BHTC induce typical defense-related transcriptional changes. Instead, low BHTC levels trigger a coordinated intercompartmental transcriptional response manifested in the suppression of photosynthesis- and respiration-related genes in the nucleus, chloroplasts, and mitochondria as well as the induction of development-related nuclear genes. Taken together, our functional characterization of BHTC links defense regulation to hormesis and provides a hypothetical transcriptional scenario for the induction of hormetic root growth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1104/pp.15.01058DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4704575PMC
January 2016

Hemipteran and dipteran pests: Effectors and plant host immune regulators.

J Integr Plant Biol 2016 Apr 1;58(4):350-61. Epub 2015 Dec 1.

Institute of Integrative Genome Biology and Center for Plant Cell Biology, University of California, Riverside, California 92521, USA.

Hemipteran and dipteran insects have behavioral, cellular and chemical strategies for evading or coping with the host plant defenses making these insects particularly destructive pests worldwide. A critical component of a host plant's defense to herbivory is innate immunity. Here we review the status of our understanding of the receptors that contribute to perception of hemipteran and dipteran pests and highlight the gaps in our knowledge in these early events in immune signaling. We also highlight recent advances in identification of the effectors that activate pattern-triggered immunity and those involved in effector-triggered immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jipb.12438DOI Listing
April 2016

Potato aphid salivary proteome: enhanced salivation using resorcinol and identification of aphid phosphoproteins.

J Proteome Res 2015 Apr 6;14(4):1762-78. Epub 2015 Mar 6.

§Division of Biological Sciences, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, California 92093, United States.

Aphids deliver saliva into plants and acquire plant sap for their nourishment using a specialized mouthpart or stylets. Aphid saliva is of great importance because it contains effectors that are involved in modulating host defense and metabolism. Although profiling aphid salivary glands and identifying secreted proteins have been successfully used, success in direct profiling of aphid saliva have been limited due to scarcity of saliva collected in artificial diets. Here we present the use of a neurostimulant, resorcinol, for inducing aphid salivation. Saliva of potato aphids (Macrosiphum euphorbiae), maintained on tomato, was collected in resorcinol diet. Salivary proteins were identified using mass spectrometry and compared with the existing M. euphorbiae salivary proteome collected in water. Comparative analysis was also performed with existing salivary proteomes from additional aphid species. Most of the proteins identified in the resorcinol diet were also present in the water diet and represented proteins with a plethora of functions in addition to a large number of unknowns. About half of the salivary proteins were not predicted for secretion or had canonical secretion signal peptides. We also analyzed the phosphorylation states of M. euphorbiae salivary proteins and identified three known aphid effectors, Me_WB01635/Mp1, Me10/Mp58, and Me23 that carry phosphorylation marks. In addition to insect proteins, tomato host proteins were also identified in aphid saliva. Our results indicate that aphid saliva is complex and provides a rich resource for functional characterization of effectors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/pr501128kDOI Listing
April 2015

MicroRNAs suppress NB domain genes in tomato that confer resistance to Fusarium oxysporum.

PLoS Pathog 2014 Oct 16;10(10):e1004464. Epub 2014 Oct 16.

Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Institute for Integrative Genome Biology, University of California, Riverside, Riverside, California, United States of America.

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) suppress the transcriptional and post-transcriptional expression of genes in plants. Several miRNA families target genes encoding nucleotide-binding site-leucine-rich repeat (NB-LRR) plant innate immune receptors. The fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici causes vascular wilt disease in tomato. We explored a role for miRNAs in tomato defense against F. oxysporum using comparative miRNA profiling of susceptible (Moneymaker) and resistant (Motelle) tomato cultivars. slmiR482f and slmiR5300 were repressed during infection of Motelle with F. oxysporum. Two predicted mRNA targets each of slmiR482f and slmiR5300 exhibited increased expression in Motelle and the ability of these four targets to be regulated by the miRNAs was confirmed by co-expression in Nicotiana benthamiana. Silencing of the targets in the resistant Motelle cultivar revealed a role in fungal resistance for all four genes. All four targets encode proteins with full or partial nucleotide-binding (NB) domains. One slmiR5300 target corresponds to tm-2, a susceptible allele of the Tomato Mosaic Virus resistance gene, supporting functions in immunity to a fungal pathogen. The observation that none of the targets correspond to I-2, the only known resistance (R) gene for F. oxysporum in tomato, supports roles for additional R genes in the immune response. Taken together, our findings suggest that Moneymaker is highly susceptible because its potential resistance is insufficiently expressed due to the action of miRNAs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1004464DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4199772PMC
October 2014

GroEL from the endosymbiont Buchnera aphidicola betrays the aphid by triggering plant defense.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2014 Jun 3;111(24):8919-24. Epub 2014 Jun 3.

Graduate Program in Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics,Department of Nematology, andInstitute of Integrative Genome Biology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521; and

Aphids are sap-feeding plant pests and harbor the endosymbiont Buchnera aphidicola, which is essential for their fecundity and survival. During plant penetration and feeding, aphids secrete saliva that contains proteins predicted to alter plant defenses and metabolism. Plants recognize microbe-associated molecular patterns and induce pattern-triggered immunity (PTI). No aphid-associated molecular pattern has yet been identified. By mass spectrometry, we identified in saliva from potato aphids (Macrosiphum euphorbiae) 105 proteins, some of which originated from Buchnera, including the chaperonin GroEL. Because GroEL is a widely conserved bacterial protein with an essential function, we tested its role in PTI. Applying or infiltrating GroEL onto Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) leaves induced oxidative burst and expression of PTI early marker genes. These GroEL-induced defense responses required the known coreceptor BRASSINOSTEROID INSENSITIVE 1-ASSOCIATED RECEPTOR KINASE 1. In addition, in transgenic Arabidopsis plants, inducible expression of groEL activated PTI marker gene expression. Moreover, Arabidopsis plants expressing groEL displayed reduced fecundity of the green peach aphid (Myzus persicae), indicating enhanced resistance against aphids. Furthermore, delivery of GroEL into tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) or Arabidopsis through Pseudomonas fluorescens, engineered to express the type III secretion system, also reduced potato aphid and green peach aphid fecundity, respectively. Collectively our data indicate that GroEL is a molecular pattern that triggers PTI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1407687111DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4066539PMC
June 2014

The tomato leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases SlSERK3A and SlSERK3B have overlapping functions in bacterial and nematode innate immunity.

PLoS One 2014 27;9(3):e93302. Epub 2014 Mar 27.

Department of Nematology, Graduate Program in Botany and Plant Sciences, Center for Plant Cell Biology, University of California Riverside, Riverside, California, United States of America.

The Somatic Embryogenesis Receptor Kinase 3 (SERK3)/Brassinosteroid (BR) Insensitive 1-Associated Kinase 1 (BAK1) is required for pattern-triggered immunity (PTI) in Arabidopsis thaliana and Nicotiana benthamiana. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) has three SlSERK members. Two of them exhibit particularly high levels of sequence similarity to AtSERK3 and, therefore, were named SlSERK3A and SlSERK3B. To characterize a role for SlSERK3A and SlSERK3B in defense, we suppressed each gene individually or co-silenced both using virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) in the tomato cv. Moneymaker. Co-silencing SlSERK3A and SlSERK3B resulted in spontaneous necrotic lesions and reduced sensitivity to exogenous BR treatment. Silencing either SlSERK3A or SlSERK3B resulted in enhanced susceptibility to root knot-nematode and to non-pathogenic Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pst) DC3000 hrcC indicating that both SlSERK3s are positive regulators of defense. Interestingly, silencing SlSERK3B, but not SlSERK3A, resulted in enhanced susceptibility to the pathogenic strain Pst DC3000 indicating distinct roles for these two SlSERK3 paralogs. SlSERK3A and SlSERK3B are active kinases, localized to the plasma membrane, and interact in vivo with the Flagellin Sensing 2 receptor in a flg22-dependent manner. Complementation of the Atserk3/bak1-4 mutant with either SlSERK3A or SlSERK3B partially rescued the mutant phenotype. Thus, SlSERK3A and SlSERK3B are likely to constitute tomato orthologs of BAK1.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0093302PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3968124PMC
May 2015

Fungal small RNAs suppress plant immunity by hijacking host RNA interference pathways.

Science 2013 Oct;342(6154):118-23

Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.

Botrytis cinerea, the causative agent of gray mold disease, is an aggressive fungal pathogen that infects more than 200 plant species. Here, we show that some B. cinerea small RNAs (Bc-sRNAs) can silence Arabidopsis and tomato genes involved in immunity. These Bc-sRNAs hijack the host RNA interference (RNAi) machinery by binding to Arabidopsis Argonaute 1 (AGO1) and selectively silencing host immunity genes. The Arabidopsis ago1 mutant exhibits reduced susceptibility to B. cinerea, and the B. cinerea dcl1 dcl2 double mutant that can no longer produce these Bc-sRNAs displays reduced pathogenicity on Arabidopsis and tomato. Thus, this fungal pathogen transfers "virulent" sRNA effectors into host plant cells to suppress host immunity and achieve infection, which demonstrates a naturally occurring cross-kingdom RNAi as an advanced virulence mechanism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1239705DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4096153PMC
October 2013

Mi-1-mediated resistance to Meloidogyne incognita in tomato may not rely on ethylene but hormone perception through ETR3 participates in limiting nematode infection in a susceptible host.

PLoS One 2013 23;8(5):e63281. Epub 2013 May 23.

Department of Nematology, University of California Riverside, Riverside, California, United States of America.

Root-knot nematodes, Meloidogyne spp., are important pests of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and resistance to the three most prevalent species of this genus, including Meloidogyne incognita, is mediated by the Mi-1 gene. Mi-1 encodes a nucleotide binding (NB) leucine-rich repeat (LRR) resistance (R) protein. Ethylene (ET) is required for the resistance mediated by a subset of NB-LRR proteins and its role in Mi-1-mediated nematode resistance has not been characterized. Infection of tomato roots with M. incognita differentially induces ET biosynthetic genes in both compatible and incompatible interactions. Analyzing the expression of members of the ET biosynthetic gene families ACC synthase (ACS) and ACC oxidase (ACO), in both compatible and incompatible interactions, shows differences in amplitude and temporal expression of both ACS and ACO genes in these two interactions. Since ET can promote both resistance and susceptibility against microbial pathogens in tomato, we investigated the role of ET in Mi-1-mediated resistance to M. incognita using both genetic and pharmacological approaches. Impairing ET biosynthesis or perception using virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS), the ET-insensitive Never ripe (Nr) mutant, or 1-methylcyclopropene (MCP) treatment, did not attenuate Mi-1-mediated resistance to M. incognita. However, Nr plants compromised in ET perception showed enhanced susceptibility to M. incognita indicating a role for ETR3 in basal resistance to root-knot nematodes.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0063281PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662669PMC
January 2014

In planta expression or delivery of potato aphid Macrosiphum euphorbiae effectors Me10 and Me23 enhances aphid fecundity.

Mol Plant Microbe Interact 2013 Jan;26(1):67-74

University of California, Riverside, CA, USA.

The interactions between aphids and their host plants seem to be analogous to those of plant-microbial pathogens. Unlike microbial pathogen effectors, little is known about aphid effectors and their ability to interfere with host immunity. To date, only three functional aphid effectors have been reported. To identify potato aphid (Macrosiphum euphorbiae) effectors, we developed a salivary gland transcriptome using Illumina technology. We generated 85 million Illumina reads from salivary glands and assembled them into 646 contigs. Ab initio sequence analysis predicted secretion signal peptides in 24% of these sequences, suggesting that they might be secreted into the plant during aphid feeding. Eight of these candidate effectors with secretion signal peptides were functionally characterized using Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transient overexpression in Nicotiana benthamiana. Two candidate effectors, Me10 and Me23, increased aphid fecundity, suggesting their ability to suppress N. benthamiana defenses. Five of these candidate effectors, including Me10 and Me23, were also analyzed in tomato by delivering them through the Pseudomonas syringae type three secretion system. In tomato, only Me10 increased aphid fecundity. This work identified two additional aphid effectors with ability to manipulate the host for their advantage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/MPMI-06-12-0144-FIDOI Listing
January 2013

Construction of RNA-Seq libraries from large and microscopic tissues for the Illumina sequencing platform.

Methods Mol Biol 2012 ;883:47-57

Department of Nematology, Center for Disease Vector Research, Center for Plant Cell Biology, University of California, Riverside, CA, USA.

Second-generation DNA sequencing platforms have emerged as powerful tools in biological research. Their high sequence output at lower cost and minimal input DNA requirement render them suitable for broad applications ranging from gene expression studies to personalized clinical diagnostics. Here, we describe the preparation of cDNA libraries, from both whole aphid insects and their microscopic salivary gland tissues, suitable for high-throughput DNA sequencing on the Illumina platform.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-61779-839-9_3DOI Listing
September 2012

High and low throughput screens with root-knot nematodes Meloidogyne spp.

J Vis Exp 2012 Mar 12(61). Epub 2012 Mar 12.

Department of Nematology, University of California-Riverside, CA, USA.

Root-knot nematodes (genus Meloidogyne) are obligate plant parasites. They are extremely polyphagous and considered one of the most economically important plant parasitic nematodes. The microscopic second-stage juvenile (J2), molted once in the egg, is the infective stage. The J2s hatch from the eggs, move freely in the soil within a film of water, and locate root tips of suitable plant species. After penetrating the plant root, they migrate towards the vascular cylinder where they establish a feeding site and initiate feeding using their stylets. The multicellular feeding site is comprised of several enlarged multinuclear cells called 'giant cells' which are formed from cells that underwent karyokinesis (repeated mitosis) without cytokinesis. Neighboring pericycle cells divide and enlarge in size giving rise to a typical gall or root knot, the characteristic symptom of root-knot nematode infection. Once feeding is initiated, J2s become sedentary and undergo three additional molts to become adults. The adult female lays 150-250 eggs in a gelatinous matrix on or below the surface of the root. From the eggs new infective J2s hatch and start a new cycle. The root-knot nematode life cycle is completed in 4-6 weeks at 26-28°C. Here we present the traditional protocol to infect plants, grown in pots, with root-knot nematodes and two methods for high-throughput assays. The first high-throughput method is used for plants with small seeds such as tomato while the second is for plants with large seeds such as cowpea and common bean. Large seeds support extended seedling growth with minimal nutrient supplement. The first high throughput assay utilizes seedlings grown in sand in trays while in the second assay plants are grown in pouches in the absence of soil. The seedling growth pouch is made of a 15.5 x 12.5cm paper wick, folded at the top to form a 2-cm-deep trough in which the seed or seedling is placed. The paper wick is contained inside a transparent plastic pouch. These growth pouches allow direct observation of nematode infection symptoms, galling of roots and egg mass production, under the surface of a transparent pouch. Both methods allow the use of the screened plants, after phenotyping, for crossing or seed production. An additional advantage of the use of growth pouches is the small space requirement because pouches are stored in plastic hanging folders arranged in racks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3791/3629DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3402051PMC
March 2012

SlWRKY70 is required for Mi-1-mediated resistance to aphids and nematodes in tomato.

Planta 2012 Feb 7;235(2):299-309. Epub 2011 Sep 7.

Department of Nematology, University of California, 2107A Genomics Building, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.

Plant resistance (R) gene-mediated defense responses against biotic stresses include vast transcriptional reprogramming. In several plant-pathogen systems, members of the WRKY family of transcription factors have been demonstrated to act as both positive and negative regulators of plant defense transcriptional networks. To identify the possible roles of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) WRKY transcription factors in defense mediated by the R gene Mi-1 against potato aphid, Macrosiphum euphorbiae, and root-knot nematode (RKN), Meloidogyne javanica, we used tobacco rattle virus (TRV)-based virus-induced gene silencing and transcriptionally suppressed SlWRKY70, a tomato ortholog of the Arabidopsis thaliana WRKY70 gene. Silencing SlWRKY70 attenuated Mi-1-mediated resistance against both potato aphid and RKN showing that SlWRKY70 is required for Mi-1 function. Furthermore, we found SlWRKY70 transcripts to be inducible in response to aphid infestation and RKN inoculation. Mi-1-mediated recognition of these pests modulates this transcriptional response. As previously described for AtWRKY70, we found SlWRKY70 transcript levels to be up-regulated by salicylic acid and suppressed by methyl jasmonate. This indicates that some aspects of WRKY70 regulation are conserved among distantly related eudicots.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00425-011-1509-6DOI Listing
February 2012

SEED: efficient clustering of next-generation sequences.

Bioinformatics 2011 Sep 2;27(18):2502-9. Epub 2011 Aug 2.

Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.

Motivation: Similarity clustering of next-generation sequences (NGS) is an important computational problem to study the population sizes of DNA/RNA molecules and to reduce the redundancies in NGS data. Currently, most sequence clustering algorithms are limited by their speed and scalability, and thus cannot handle data with tens of millions of reads.

Results: Here, we introduce SEED-an efficient algorithm for clustering very large NGS sets. It joins sequences into clusters that can differ by up to three mismatches and three overhanging residues from their virtual center. It is based on a modified spaced seed method, called block spaced seeds. Its clustering component operates on the hash tables by first identifying virtual center sequences and then finding all their neighboring sequences that meet the similarity parameters. SEED can cluster 100 million short read sequences in <4 h with a linear time and memory performance. When using SEED as a preprocessing tool on genome/transcriptome assembly data, it was able to reduce the time and memory requirements of the Velvet/Oasis assembler for the datasets used in this study by 60-85% and 21-41%, respectively. In addition, the assemblies contained longer contigs than non-preprocessed data as indicated by 12-27% larger N50 values. Compared with other clustering tools, SEED showed the best performance in generating clusters of NGS data similar to true cluster results with a 2- to 10-fold better time performance. While most of SEED's utilities fall into the preprocessing area of NGS data, our tests also demonstrate its efficiency as stand-alone tool for discovering clusters of small RNA sequences in NGS data from unsequenced organisms.

Availability: The SEED software can be downloaded for free from this site: http://manuals.bioinformatics.ucr.edu/home/seed.

Contact: [email protected]

Supplementary Information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btr447DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3167058PMC
September 2011

The receptor-like kinase SlSERK1 is required for Mi-1-mediated resistance to potato aphids in tomato.

Plant J 2011 Aug 6;67(3):459-71. Epub 2011 Jun 6.

Department of Nematology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.

The plant receptor-like kinase somatic embryogenesis receptor kinase 3 (SERK3)/brassinosteroid insensitive 1-associated kinase 1 (BAK1) is required for pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP)-triggered immunity (PTI). Here we show that a distinct member of the SERK family, SERK1, is required for the full functioning of Mi-1, a nucleotide binding leucine-rich repeat (NB-LRR) resistance protein. Mi-1 confers resistance to Meloidogyne spp. (root-knot nematodes, RKNs) and three phloem-feeding insects, including Macrosiphum euphorbiae (potato aphid). SERK1 was identified in a tobacco rattle virus (TRV)-based virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) screen in Nicotiana benthamiana. The screen was based on the suppression of a pest-independent hypersensitive response triggered by a constitutively active form of Mi-1, Mi-DS4. To assess the role of SERK1 in Mi-1-mediated resistance, Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) SlSERK genes were cloned. Three SlSERK members were identified with homologies to Arabidopsis AtSERK1 or AtSERK3/BAK1, and were named SlSERK1, SlSERK3A and SlSERK3B. SlSERK1 is ubiquitously expressed in tomato. Reducing SlSERK1 transcript levels in resistant plants, using gene-specific TRV-SERK1 VIGS, revealed a role for SlSERK1 in Mi-1-mediated resistance to potato aphids, but not to RKNs. In addition, Mi-1-dependent SlWRKY72 gene regulation was compromised in SlSERK1-silenced plants, placing SlSERK1 in the Mi-1 signaling pathway. Silencing SlSERK1 in a susceptible tomato background did not reduce the susceptibility to aphids, indicating that SlSERK1 is unlikely to be an essential virulence target. SlSERK1 is an active kinase, mainly localized at the plasma membrane. This work identifies a critical early component of Mi-1 signaling, and demonstrates a role for SlSERK1 in NB-LRR-mediated immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-313X.2011.04609.xDOI Listing
August 2011

Linked, if not the same, Mi-1 homologues confer resistance to tomato powdery mildew and root-knot nematodes.

Mol Plant Microbe Interact 2011 Apr;24(4):441-50

Wageningen UR Plant Breeding, Wageningen University and Research Center, Droevendaalsesteeg 1, 6708PB Wageningen, The Netherlands.

On the short arm of tomato chromosome 6, a cluster of disease resistance (R) genes have evolved harboring the Mi-1 and Cf genes. The Mi-1 gene confers resistance to root-knot nematodes, aphids, and whiteflies. Previously, we mapped two genes, Ol-4 and Ol-6, for resistance to tomato powdery mildew in this cluster. The aim of this study was to investigate whether Ol-4 and Ol-6 are homologues of the R genes located in this cluster. We show that near-isogenic lines (NIL) harboring Ol-4 (NIL-Ol-4) and Ol-6 (NIL-Ol-6) are also resistant to nematodes and aphids. Genetically, the resistance to nematodes cosegregates with Ol-4 and Ol-6, which are further fine-mapped to the Mi-1 cluster. We provide evidence that the composition of Mi-1 homologues in NIL-Ol-4 and NIL-Ol-6 is different from other nematode-resistant tomato lines, Motelle and VFNT, harboring the Mi-1 gene. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the resistance to both nematodes and tomato powdery mildew in these two NIL is governed by linked (if not the same) Mi-1 homologues in the Mi-1 gene cluster. Finally, we discuss how Solanum crops exploit Mi-1 homologues to defend themselves against distinct pathogens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/MPMI-06-10-0145DOI Listing
April 2011

WRKY72-type transcription factors contribute to basal immunity in tomato and Arabidopsis as well as gene-for-gene resistance mediated by the tomato R gene Mi-1.

Plant J 2010 Jul 19;63(2):229-40. Epub 2010 Apr 19.

Graduate Program in Plant Pathology, University of California at Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.

WRKY transcription factors play a central role in transcriptional reprogramming associated with plant immune responses. However, due to functional redundancy, typically the contribution of individual members of this family to immunity is only subtle. Using microarray analysis, we found that the paralogous tomato WRKY genes SlWRKY72a and b are transcriptionally up-regulated during disease resistance mediated by the R gene Mi-1. Virus-induced gene silencing of these two genes in tomato resulted in a clear reduction of Mi-1-mediated resistance as well as basal defense against root-knot nematodes (RKN) and potato aphids. Using Arabidopsis T-DNA insertion mutants, we found that their Arabidopsis ortholog, AtWRKY72, is also required for full basal defense against RKN as well as to the oomycete Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis. Despite their similar roles in basal defense against RKN in both tested plant species, WRKY72-type transcription factors in tomato, but not in Arabidopsis, clearly contributed to basal defense against the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae. Of the five R genes that we tested in tomato and Arabidopsis, only Mi-1 appeared to be dependent on WRKY72-type transcription factors. Interestingly, AtWRKY72 target genes, identified by microarray analysis of H. arabidopsidis-triggered transcriptional changes, appear to be largely non-responsive to analogs of the defense hormone salicylic acid (SA). Thus, similarly to Mi-1, which in part acts independently of SA, AtWRKY72 appears to utilize SA-independent defense mechanisms. We propose that WRKY72-type transcription factors play a partially conserved role in basal defense in tomato and Arabidopsis, a function that has been recruited to serve Mi-1-dependent immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-313X.2010.04232.xDOI Listing
July 2010

Immunity and other defenses in pea aphids, Acyrthosiphon pisum.

Genome Biol 2010 23;11(2):R21. Epub 2010 Feb 23.

Department of Biology, Emory University, O Wayne Rollins Research Center, 1510 E, Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.

Background: Recent genomic analyses of arthropod defense mechanisms suggest conservation of key elements underlying responses to pathogens, parasites and stresses. At the center of pathogen-induced immune responses are signaling pathways triggered by the recognition of fungal, bacterial and viral signatures. These pathways result in the production of response molecules, such as antimicrobial peptides and lysozymes, which degrade or destroy invaders. Using the recently sequenced genome of the pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum), we conducted the first extensive annotation of the immune and stress gene repertoire of a hemipterous insect, which is phylogenetically distantly related to previously characterized insects models.

Results: Strikingly, pea aphids appear to be missing genes present in insect genomes characterized to date and thought critical for recognition, signaling and killing of microbes. In line with results of gene annotation, experimental analyses designed to characterize immune response through the isolation of RNA transcripts and proteins from immune-challenged pea aphids uncovered few immune-related products. Gene expression studies, however, indicated some expression of immune and stress-related genes.

Conclusions: The absence of genes suspected to be essential for the insect immune response suggests that the traditional view of insect immunity may not be as broadly applicable as once thought. The limitations of the aphid immune system may be representative of a broad range of insects, or may be aphid specific. We suggest that several aspects of the aphid life style, such as their association with microbial symbionts, could facilitate survival without strong immune protection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/gb-2010-11-2-r21DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2872881PMC
August 2010
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