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Microarray analysis of Fusarium graminearum-induced wheat genes: identification of organ-specific and differentially expressed genes

Golkari, Saber, Gilbert, Jeannie, Prashar, Suvira, Procunier, J. Douglas
Plant biotechnology journal 2007 v.5 no.1 pp. 38-49
Fusarium graminearum, Fusarium head blight, Northern blotting, Palea, clones, complementary DNA, expressed sequence tags, fungi, gene expression, gene expression regulation, genes, hydrogen peroxide, microarray technology, monitoring, plant ovary, protein synthesis, stress response, transcriptome, wheat
A wheat cDNA microarray consisting of 5739 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) was used to investigate the transcriptome patterns of the glume, lemma, palea, anther, ovary and rachis dissected from infected wheat spikes after inoculation with the fungus Fusarium graminearum, the causal agent of fusarium head blight (FHB) disease. Stringent conditions were employed to reduce the false discovery rate. The significance analysis of microarrays (SAM) was used to identify transcripts that showed a differential response between fungal-challenged vs. control plants. To verify the microarray data, Northern blot analysis was carried out on randomly selected up-regulated clones. We observed 185 (3.2%) up-regulated and 16 (0.28%) down-regulated ESTs in the six organs constituting the wheat spike. Many up-regulated ESTs (46.67%) showed no homology with sequences of known functions, whereas others showed homology with genes involved in defence and stress responses, the oxidative burst of H₂O₂, regulatory functions, protein synthesis and the phenylpropanoid pathway. The monitoring of genes in specific organs avoided the averaging of expression values over multiple organs that occurs when using data from the whole spike. Our data allowed us to uncover new up-regulated genes expressed in specific organs. The study revealed that each organ had a defined and distinctive transcriptome pattern in response to F. graminearum infection.